U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2013

    Missouri Horse Slaughter Facility: Humane Society Files Lawsuit To Block Processing Plant

    Last week, we reported that a Missouri horse slaughter facility may get the green light from federal officials who say they are legally required to approve the processing plant if it meets a series of requirements. Animal rights advocates argue the practice is cruel and that horse meat is dangerou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2013

    Meat Prices Are Rising: Stock Up While You Can!

    Paleo purists may need to bolster the salad component of their diets: The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports soaring meat and poultry prices nationwide. How do you feel about paying 7 percent more for Pride of the Farm center-cut pork steaks at Schnucks -- a price increase from $2.84 to $3.04 p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2012

    Don't Play FreeBird! Frozen Chicken Nuggets, Patties Recalled

    Finally, after almost six years of existence, Gut Check gets to make a "Free Bird" joke. Suzanna's Kitchen of Duluth, Georgia, has announced a precautionary recall, via the USDA, of certain packages of FreeBird-brand frozen chicken nuggets and patties because they might contain pieces of plastic. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2012

    Who Will Save Us from the Plastic Pen Invasion?

    The plastic pens waited, biding their time, until America turned its weary attention to the final hours of the interminable campaign. Then -- THEN! -- they struck again. In August, the plastic pens snuck into frozen bratwurst patties. Now they've come for our grill-marked chicken-breast strips.

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2012

    The Most Ridiculous Food Recall Ever? Yeah, the Most Ridiculous Food Recall Ever.

    In general, food recalls aren't funny. Listeria, E. coli, salmonella: serious business, all of them. Undeclared allergens might not matter to most consumers, but for those who are allergic, they can be a very big deal, indeed. But then there is this recall, announced last week by the USDA.

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    Johnsonville Sausages, Clif Bars Recalled

    Well, here's a different sort of recall: Johnsonville Sausage has recalled 48,000 pounds of its "Turkey Sausage with Cheddar" because -- and here we quote directly from the USDA's press release lest you don't believe us -- "they may contain pieces of gloves." Now, we understand a certain amount of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    SE Missouri Is Hardest-Hit By Drought, Yet Will Most Likely Produce Bumper Corn Crop

    Southeast Missouri has been wracked by severe category of drought for much of the summer -- just last week the U.S. Drought Monitor report showed that the entire southeastern corner of the state qualified for D4 status, the most exceptional category of drought. On Friday, the USDA forecast that corn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2012

    USDA Forecasts Steep Drop in Corn and Soybean Crops

    While we're finally getting a break from the summer heat, don't expect any farmers in the Midwest to jump for joy. Crops have been devastated by the drought, and the United States Department of Agriculture's latest production forecast reflects the damage.Corn production is projected to be down 13 pe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2012

    Thanks to This Stupid Drought, Food Prices Are Expected to Rise in 2013

    Yeah. There's still no rain. Sure, the sky tantalizes us from time to time with dark clouds and even distant thunder and lightning and everybody gets all excited, but does it ever deliver? It's such a tease. So we're all hot and sweaty and gross and our lawns are all brown and this misery is expecte ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    Rockville MO Horse Slaughter Plant Update: Nothing Doing So Far

    In June of this year Sue Wallis, the CEO of Unified Equine, announced that a shuttered cattle processing plant in Rockville, Missouri, would soon be home to her company's first horse slaughterhouse in America. Work was to begin immediately so that horses could be processed for human consumption as s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    Cargill Recalls Ground Beef for Possible Salmonella Contamination

    Cargill has recalled 29,339 pounds of ground beef because of possible salmonella contamination, the USDA announced yesterday. An outbreak of salmonella in early June sickened 33 individuals; officials were able to trace back five of the cases to ground beef from Cargill Meat Solutions in Wyalusing, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2012

    USDA To Start Testing for Six More Strains of E. coli

    Starting Monday, the USDA will begin testing raw beef manufacturing trim for six additional strains of E. coli bacteria, the agency announced yesterday. Raw beef manufacturing trim is the main component in most commercial ground beef. E. coli is the bacteria that makes you really, really sick. Repe ... More >>

  • Calendar

    May 17, 2012
  • Blogs

    April 24, 2012

    Mad Cow in California, Confused Cow in Colorado

    The USDA today confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, a.k.a. mad cow disease, in a dairy cow in central California. According to the USDA, the animal's meat was never intended for human consumption and, to anticipate your next question, mad cow disease isn't transmitted through milk. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 22, 2012

    Pink Slime: You Know You Want It -- Here's Where to Get It!

    It's easy to say you want to know all about what's in your food and where it comes from. You know -- farm-to-table, sustainable agriculture, heirloom parsnips and all that. But we all know that sometimes our go-to guy at the farmers' market is fresh outta parsnips, heirloom or otherwise, and more to ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2012

    USDA Requires Nutritional Facts for Raw Meat and Poultry

    On Thursday, March 1, a new rule implemented by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service requires that packaged raw ground or chopped meat and poultry be labeled with nutritional information. The rule, which was originally announced on December 29, 2010 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2011

    Cost of Peanut Butter Set to Rocket

    ​Whether you like your peanut butter smooth or creamy, organic or conventional, Skippy or Jif or Peter Pan, you're about to pay a lot more for it.According to a report in today's Wall Street Journal, the wholesale cost of peanut butter will rise anywhere from 24%-40% next month. Since last year, t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2011

    USDA to Expand E. Coli Ban

    ​Here's a fun fact: Of the E. coli strains known to have sickened human beings, the USDA bans only the sale of ground beef and other "non-intact raw beef" products contaminated with one of the strains, the most famous, 0157.That will change beginning in March of next year, the USDA announced this ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2011

    Salmonella Detected in Cargill Turkey Last Year

    ​The Wall Street Journal reports today that the USDA first detected salmonella Heidelberg in Cargill's Springdale, Arkansas, turkey-processing plant last year but was restricted by its own rules from doing anything about it.Cargill recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey after at least 77 peop ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2011

    Salmonella Found in Ground Turkey [Updated 2x]

    Image via Turkey meat is grounds for concern.​Update #2: (Thursday, August 4, 6:45 a.m.) Meat processor Cargill yesterday announced a voluntary recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey produced at its Springdale, Arkansas, processing plant and sold under the "Honeysuckle White" brand. A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2011

    Feds Get New Tools to Fight Food-Borne Illnesses​ It has been a busy week for federal agencies that try to keep bugs out of the food supply. This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration debuted a revamped website that provides food-recall information to consumers. The previous website was so bad that improvements were m ... More >>

  • News

    January 6, 2011
  • Blogs

    November 18, 2010

    China's Food Inflation Skyrockets

    Food inflation hits China and threatens the country's stability. The Los Angeles Times looks at why food prices have increased over 10 percent in the past year. While Americans spend 12 percent of their income on food, rural Chinese residents spend around 36 percent, making for a huge economic hit.F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2010

    Food Insecurity Rates at Record High

    The USDA's annual report shows that 17.4 million American families grappled with food insecurity in 2009. That's 15 percent of the population. The Los Angeles Times reports that this is more than three times the number of hungry families from 2006. Hunger be damned, there's wine to be auctioned! A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 23, 2010

    The USDA Snaps Into the New Healthy Eating Incentive Plan

    The government can't tell people what they can eat, but a new USDA program gives incentive to eat healthy. The Washington Post explains changes in SNAP (the new name for food stamps) that will reward people for eating fruits and vegetables. Participants will receive 30 cents for every dollar they sp ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2010

    Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms: The Supreme Court Rules, Everyone Claims Victory

    Image viaEven Alfalfa is smiling about yesterday's ruling on alfalfa.​Gut Check hasn't read much case law since our high-school debate career ended and our briefcase (and trophies!) went into storage in our parents' garage. However, we were fairly certain that when the Supreme Court issued a rulin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2010

    The USDA's Long-Awaited Organic Pasture Access Rule: Only Two Months to Go!

    image credit​Beginning in June, cattle across America will get a breath of fresh air. Last month the United States Department of Agriculture quietly issued a press release announcing that it had completed the five-year process of retooling the rules governing organic livestock practices. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2010

    'Pampered Pets' Are Anything But, Says Animal Rights Group

    Image via When pampering your pet goes too far. This dog looks like he would rather be in a puppy mill than wear this outfit.​Pampering your pets is good, but Pampered Pets is bad. So says a local animal rights group. Metro East Pet Lovers will be protesting Pampered Pets, a pet store ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2010

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 2.9

    Health officials destroy over $1,000 worth of local fruit over business license dispute. (Chicago Tribune) ​ USDA kills never-functional livestock-tracking program. (Des Moines Register)Brooklyn high school students flock to food justice class. (New York Times)Need sandwich assistance? There' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 12.8

    ​ What's wrong with the USDA? (The Atlantic)Florida McDonald's accused of transgendered hiring discrimination. (MSNBC)Like cranberries? You'd better, because they're in everything. (Los Angeles Times)Dissecting the anatomy of a menu. (New York Magazine)

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2009

    The Morning Brew: Thursday, 9.3

    ​ A frog in a Diet Pepsi can ruins tiki party and somehow doesn't satiate the growing appetite for frog meat. (CNN, takes their instant coffee national. (Seattle Business Journal)September is National Bourbon Heritage Month. Knob Creek celebrates with webcast addressi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 17, 2009

    Top o' the Morning Brew: Tuesday, 3.17

    The USDA's new Country of Origin Labeling (pr COOL) law goes into effect today. (MSNBC)Apparently, it's food-allergy-news week: A new study finds that black male children have the highest risk of food allergies. (U.S. News & World Report)Research suggests that eating mushrooms could reduce a wom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2009

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 2.24

    President Obama selects the woman who wrote the rules on what is and isn't organic to be second-in-command at the Department of Agriculture. (Reuters)Some in Congress think now the political will exists to create a single food-safety agency. (AP)Legendary rancher Bill Niman will no longer eat the be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2009

    The Noble Writ: Organic Wine and the Sustainable Secret

    Dave Nelson is the author of the blog Beer, Wine and Whisky. He writes about wine for Gut Check every Tuesday.I like to think of myself as a relatively environmentally-aware guy. My family of four downsized to one car a year ago. We compost and recycle, pay a bit extra for wind power, buy a lot of o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 27, 2009

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 1.27

    In today's news: a bad history at the source of the salmonella outbreak, caterpillars in Liberia and deadly fugu in Japan.

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2008

    The Morning Brew: Friday, 10.10

    A group of physicians wants the USDA to ban processed meats from school lunches. (Newsday) Somali pirates pledge not to attack vessels carrying food aid to their impoverished country. (APA) A new study suggests why some people have adverse reactions to bitter-tasting foods. (HealthDay News) Pizza ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2008

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 9.2

    The USDA is within its rights to prevent meatpackers from testing cattle for mad cow disease, a federal appeals court rules. (Reuters) Russia bans poultry imports from several U.S. producers, ostensibly because of safety concerns. (New York Times) Last week it was Gordon Ramsay vs. Paul McCartney. ... More >>

  • News

    August 20, 2008
  • Blogs

    August 13, 2008

    The Morning Brew: Wednesday, 8.13

    The USDA says that, in spite of recent drops in soybean and oil prices, food costs will not fall this year. (Financial Post) China's head of food safety commits suicide amid a government investigation into his finances. ( An in-depth look at the new fast-food moratorium in Los Angeles. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2008
  • Blogs

    March 7, 2008

    The Morning Brew: Friday, 3.7

    The continuing saga of the Westland/Hallmark beef recall: Congress demands a list of stores that received the recalled frozen beef, but the USDA says it might not be able to comply. (Reuters) The rise in food costs could continue until 2010, a U.N. expert warns. (BBC) Major consolidation in the gl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 18, 2008

    A Little More on the Massive Beef Recall

    The latest on the recall of 143 million pounds of beef, per CNN: There have been no cases of illness connected to the meat, and the USDA believes much of the meat has already been eaten. Regular posting resumes tomorrow. -Ian Froeb

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2008

    Biggest. Beef Recall. Ever.

    The USDA has recalled 143 million pounds of frozen beef connected to the California slaughterhouse whose inhumane practices were exposed by the Humane Society several weeks ago. (AP) List of specific recall products right here. -Ian Froeb

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2008
  • Blogs

    November 20, 2007

    The Morning Brew: Tuesday, 11/20

    The USDA tells Tyson Foods it can't label its chickens as "raised without antibiotics" when they are raised with what the USDA considers an antibiotic. (AP) The cost of a pint of beer in Great Britain might soon be 4 quid -- that's $8. Blame a rise in the cost of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 21, 2007

    Cold Comfort

    Who hasn't visited the Saint Louis Zoo on a hot summer afternoon and felt a little sorry for the polar bears? Make that polar bear. Hope's the only one left. Churchill and Penny died in 2005. A local whistle blower tipped the animal-activist group People for the Ethical Treatment of ... More >>

  • Dining

    January 3, 2007

    Whole Foods Market
    Organic Gummy Bears

    Whole Foods Market
    1601 Brentwood Boulevard

  • News

    June 9, 2004

    Eat Me

    The only thing keeping the Japanese from buying the Midwest's finest beef is the USDA

  • Best of St. Louis

    September 24, 2003

    Best Steak House

    Citizen Kane's

  • Dining

    October 20, 1999


    How your breakfast eggs made the grade

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