Megalomania and other modest propositions

05/29/2014 05:31:00 PM
Tom Karst

While he appreciates that potato growers are capable of producing more potatoes, Americans sill consume about 84 pounds per person on average. “I think the key here for potato growers is for us to continue to be doing what we are doing in terms of expanding export markets so that potatoes are available to folks that could use them, but not in the WIC program.”

 Wow. Both the USDA and the potato industry are engaged in a holy war over potatoes in WIC. And, amazingly, it does not seem to be over yet. Years hence, the potatoes in WIC should be a great case study in public relations, for better and worse.

 The PMA’s Field to Fork blog notes the group’s comment on high risk food regulation by the FDA.  To put a fine point on it, the agency’s approach is too simplistic, says Jim Gorny of PMA. Read more at the blog and on PMA’s website.

 Forget North by Northwest. The Census Bureau said U.S. population growth is all south and southwest. Austin, especially, shows well in the latest growth statistics, with nearby San Marcos, Cedar Park and Georgetown all rating among the 10 fastest growing cities with 50,000 or more.

 Perhaps there is hope for the online grocer yet. The latest Census Bureau report shows rapid growth in electronic shopping, with the number of establishments growing 27.4% between 2011 and 2012. Census Bureau, retail edition, provides an interactive map to show location of electronic and mail order houses.

The federal marketing order for Florida citrus relaxed late season minimum regulations for valencias and other late oranges shipped from May 15 through Aug. 31. The move is expected to maximize fresh shipments this summer and will continue to be in effect in future years.

 The Senate appropriations bill includes funding for the restoration of fruit and vegetable in-season reports, restoration of the chemical use survey. The Senate appropriations documents supports the USDA’s intent to raise user fees quarantine and inspections services.



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