Americans Devote Less Time to Meals – November 25, 2019

Three meals a day, if you include work or TV


Americans are devoting less time to meals than they did a decade ago and waiting longer before eating them, according to two USDA analysts. The old idea of three meals a day applies to 21st century America only if you include food consumption that is secondary to something else, such as working or watching TV and movies.


Q&A: Jennifer E. Gaddis on school food, feminism and worker rights


When we think about school meals, we might not immediately think of feminism, workers’ rights, community organizing or curbing the power of corporations. But in Jennifer E. Gaddis’s new book, The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools, school lunch is the framework for serious thinking about politics and people power. Gaddis makes the case that to reform school food, we need better working conditions and pay for cafeteria workers in addition to more nutritious ingredients.


Avoid romaine lettuce from Salinas, FDA tells consumers amid E. coli outbreak


Following an outbreak of foodborne illness that sickened 40 people in 16 states, the FDA urged consumers to “not eat romaine lettuce harvested from Salinas, California.” Romaine from other regions is not implicated but if there is any doubt about the origin of lettuce, “throw it away or return it to the place of purchase,” said the agency on Friday.



USMCA still lacks enforceability (Speaker): Stronger provisions are needed to ensure enforcement of the new NAFTA, said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who says there may not be time for Congress to approve the trade pact this year.


Vilsack endorses Biden (KCCI-TV): Former Iowa Gov. and Obama-era agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack endorsed former vice president Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination for president because of his “progressive yet realistic view and vision for our country.”


Judge denies Prop 12 injunction (USHS): U.S. district judge Christina Snyder, hearing a meat industry lawsuit against animal welfare standards approved by California voters, denied an industry request for a preliminary injunction against the implementation of the standards set by Proposition 12 and which will require more room for hens, sows and veal calves.


A sixth year of low food inflation? (USDA): After rising by a mild 2 percent this year, food prices are forecast to rise by 2 percent in 2020, which would be the sixth year in a row of lower-than-normal food inflation, which has averaged 2.3 percent annually for the past two decades.


Bankrupt Bumble Bee to sell assets (San Diego Union-Tribune): One of North America’s largest seafood brands, Bumble Bee Food, filed for bankruptcy reorganization and said it will sell its assets to FCF Co., based in Taiwan.




– USDA releases quarterly Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade, 3 p.m. ET. In its Aug. 29 estimate, exports were forecast at $137 billion for fiscal 2020, a mild improvement from $134.5 billion in fiscal 2019 but well below the record $152.3 billion of fiscal 2014, before the collapse of the commodity boom.


– USDA releases weekly Crop Progress report, 4 p.m. ET.  Ordinarily, the USDA stops the report at the end of November but it said reports will continue into December because of the late harvest.


– Annual “presentation of the national Thanksgiving turkey” at the White House by the National Turkey Federation, which says the event began in 1947, 2 p.m. ET. “However, the actual act of ‘pardoning’ the bird didn’t start until 1989” under President George H.W. Bush.


– USDA updates its forecast of U.S. farm income, 11 a.m. ET. In August, it forecast net farm income at $88 billion for this year, up 5 percent from 2018, with direct federal payments providing 22 percent of the total, the largest share since 2006. There will be a 1 p.m. ET webinar about the report.


– USDA releases monthly Agricultural Prices report, 3 p.m. ET.


– Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that began during colonial times as a harvest feast and became an annual national holiday by proclamation of President Lincoln in 1863 during the Civil War, “to heal the wounds of the nation” and commend care of “widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife.” Lincoln chose the final Thursday of November. President Franklin Roosevelt advanced it by a week in 1939 to spur the economy during the Great Depression. Congress passed a law in 1941 setting Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. The American celebration of Thanksgiving as a response to the fall harvest “falls under a category of festivals that spans cultures, continents and millennia,” says “Historians have noted that Native Americans had a rich tradition of commemorating the fall harvest with feasting and merrymaking long before Europeans set foot on their shores.”

Bookmark the permalink.