Some Food Aid Funneled Through States Will Continue If The Government Shuts Down

A container from a different brand had a “best-by” date. Even though nearly all consumers make some decisions about what to throw away based on those stamped dates, they cannot rely on them, said Gunders, food and agriculture staff scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. She is the coauthor of a report issued by the NRDC and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic calling for changes to make the dates more useful. Currently, those dates are manufacturers’ suggestions for when an item is at its peak or are efforts to help stores manage their inventory not indications of food safety, the report says. Here’s what those labels mean, according to the report: “Best by” or “best if used by”: The manufacturer’s estimate of when the food will no longer be at highest quality. “Use by”: An estimate of the last date it’s at peak quality. “Sell by”: The manufacturer’s suggested date to the grocer to no longer sell a product, based on the idea that it will still be good quality for a “reasonable” time if purchased on that date. Still, more than 90% of Americans say they use those dates to decide whether to discard food, leading to tons of wasted food each year, the report notes. “I don’t know of any data that consuming a product beyond the date has caused illness,” said Labuza, a professor of food science and engineering at the University of Minnesota who has studied shelf life for decades. His sour cream was OK because he keeps his refrigerator at 34 degrees. He recommends consumers let theirs go no higher than 40 degrees and get a thermometer to make sure. Even at that temperature, listeria can grow, he cautioned. But that is not related to those stamped dates. When food spoils, it might smell rotten, be slimy or soft or change color.

Food act: Fresh burden of Rs 2,200 crore worries West Bengal

With the new financial burden in place, it is not possible for us to bear it further,” said a state finance department official. “The proposed bill will cripple finances and increase deficits for the cash-strapped state, already reeling under the financial crunch, said the official. Meanwhile, state’s food and supplies secretary Anil Verma will talk to the is likely to meet food secretaries of other states on Monday to set the agenda for the ministers’ conference. The states were given have been provided a year for the implementation of the act ensuring heavily-subsidized food grains for about 82 crore people in the country. Some states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh , Rajasthan, Uttranchal, Mizoram and Delhi have already started implementing the act. The act will cover about 75% and 50% per cent of rural and urban population respectively under the targeted public distribution scheme as a single category, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. They will get rice, wheat and coarse grains at the rates of Rs 3, 2 and1 per kg respectively. The Bengal government is already providing rice at Rs 2 per kg in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area. “Even if you take out Rs 500 crore, which we have to provide for the subsidized rice in Jangalmahal, it comes to around Rs 1,700 crore. Under the present financial condition, the state is not in a position to bear the burden,” said Jyotipriyo Mullick, food and supplies minister of the state. According to the proposal, while the Centre will bear 78% subsidy for implementing food security bill , state government will have to bear 22%. “We are not opposing food at a subsidized rate, but state finances are not in a position to bear the additional burden,” Mullick added. According to the Planning Commission data, West Bengal at present has 1.86 crore people living below poverty line, compared to The number of BPL population in the state has fallen improved from 2.08 crore in 2009.

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(Tracy A. Woodward/The Washington Post.) Yesterday we cited a report that predicted federal food aid funneled through the states would dry up quickly if Congress fails to pass a bill authorizing some funding beyond Oct. 1. Well, the Department of Agriculture now says that thats true for some programs, but not for all. In a document outlining its contingency plan for a potential shutdown next week, USDA said funding for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits formerly known as food stamps will continue in Octoberunder authority granted by the 2009 stimulus bill. In addition, the agency said, states might still also be able to receive partial reimbursements for related administrative costs from a $2 billion contingency fund. Child nutrition programs including School Lunch, School Breakfast, Child and Adult Care Feeding, Summer Food Service and Special Milk will also continue into October, the USDA said. But not all federal food aid will continue, though advocates say many states may pick up the tab. Federal funding for administration and benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children which provides grants to states for food aid, health care referrals and nutrition education for some low-income women and children will cease if the government shuts down. While the USDA report says states may only have enough leftover funds for a week or so, advocates believe that many states may choose to fund the program beyond that. Those concerned about whether benefits will be available should call program administrators to get the most up-to-date information, they say. Niraj Chokshi reports for GovBeat, The Post’s state and local policy blog. Before that he covered budget, tax and transportation policy for National Journal, blogged at The Atlantic and covered the business of the nation’s largest law firms in California for The Recorder.

How Marcella Hazan Made Italian Food All-American

Their cooking lives, wherever they went in America, were much simpler, even if they lamented the lack of good vegetables in Florida (“green beans shrink in a day — maybe the water evaporates, but they’re never good”) and offal of any kind. I asked for one recipe recommendation, to help promote Essentials (they greeted the suggestion of writing a piece on a website for free to promote the book with silence and tight smiles). Marcella shrugged. “I’m always in love with very simple recipes,” she said. “People are frightened to cook. The problem is that people love recipes that are complicated because they think that’s what they will love. You want one really very simple? Here’s a sauce for pasta. Take pasta, a piece of butter, a small onion or half an onion, a tomato and let it cook. If canned, the tomato should be very good: Italian cooking means that the ingredient is supposed to be very good. If it doesn’t have the right flavor, the dish won’t either. And sauce for pasta never cooks covered. You know that, right?