Food & Farm News
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» July 30, 2008 «
It will soon be easier for shoppers to tell whether food products were grown in America or imported. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Tuesday) that mandatory rules to label food with its country of origin will take effect September 30th. The rules apply to most meats, fruits and vegetables. The California Farm Bureau welcomed the action, saying the labels provide shoppers with more information and will help them support domestic food production.
"Staycation" has become a new word in American vocabularies this summer, as people cope with high gasoline prices by looking for activities close to home. California farmers' markets appear to be benefiting from that trend, and from consumer interest in purchasing locally grown foods. The California Federation of Certified Farmers' Markets says its member markets report increased patronage. And the group says more cities want to start new farmers' markets.
The natural-foods market shows promise for a new barley variety released to California farmers. A University of California plant breeder says the barley, known as Tamalpais, can be used in soups, bread or pet food. Until now, most California-grown barley has been used for livestock feed. Farmers expect to harvest 60,000 acres of barley in California this year, up 50 percent from a year ago.
Keeping bagged salads cold enough helps assure their safety. Researchers placed bacteria on bagged salads, then tested different conditions to determine when the bacteria were most likely to multiply. When temperatures were 59 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, the bacteria multiplied and grew hardier. Specialists advise consumers to keep refrigerator temperatures at 40 degrees or lower.Top