Cooking (and Eating) With Uncle Sam

 The National Archives  just opened a new exhibit that has piqued my interest. “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” is intended to “explore the records of the National Archives that trace the Government’s effect on what Americans eat.” Although I haven’t had a chance to visit the exhibit yet, it’s been getting great press in the New York Times (subscription required, I’m afraid) and the Washington Post.

Awhile back I discussed one of the Government’s efforts to inform the public about food preparation: Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes. In those days, thrifty, filling meals were the order of the day – comfort food that could nourish people struggling through the Great Depression with very little spare cash.The Government is still a player in the food game today, but now the problem seems to be obesity rather than malnutrition. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has replaced its venerable Food Pyramid with MyPlate, but the aim remains the same: educating the public on portion control and which foods to increase or decrease in the American diet.

This brings me to another 2011 Library Journal notable Government document: the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Grow It, Try It, Like It: Preschool Fun with Fruits and Vegetables, a kit aimed at parents and teachers who want to provide young children with food and nutrition information in a fun way while teaching them all kinds of other things, like growing and cooking vegetables. Kids can improve their small motor skills while getting their hands dirty in a constructive way and then serve up the results – and maybe even acquire a taste for fruits and veggies, that perennial hope of parents everywhere. The kit includes seven booklets, with names like “Spinach Lane,” “Sweet Potato Hill,” and “Peach Tree Orchard,” each one explaining a particular fruit or vegetable’s nutritional value, how to grow it, recipes, and lots more. There are plenty of puzzles and other fun activities, too. Since we’re way past Aunt Sammy these days, technologically speaking, the kit also includes a CD-ROM with more information and a DVD of “Cool Puppy Pup’s Picnic and Lunch Parties.”

So what’s cooking at the Federal level? Quite a bit! You can view Grow It, Try It, Like It here or browse through its components in a library. I suspect that even a lot of us who are way past the Cool Puppy Pup stage might learn something from these booklets – I didn’t inherit my grandmother’s green thumb, so maybe they could actually help me grow some of this stuff!

25 Responses to Cooking (and Eating) With Uncle Sam

  1. Melissa says:

    I just want to give a huge thumbs up for the great data you will have right here on this post.

    Like

  2. ukash kart al says:

    Thank you very so much

    Like

  3. Uzaktan Eğitim says:

    Thanks for your great article useful information, wish you continued success.

    Like

  4. kamera sistemleri says:

    very so munch

    Like

  5. Kattybrain986 says:

    I have heard about aunty sammy’s radio recipes from one of my relative. Uncle sam’s pizza is famous worldwide.

    Like

  6. weyde says:

    In preparation for the happiest holiday of the year, may your life be filled with joy.

    Like

  7. Caballes Donald says:

    In preparation for the happiest holiday of the year, may your life be filled with joy.

    Like

  8. health department prescott az says:

    wow! I’m very impressed! great stuff… keep it up… dont’ lose the flow!

    Like

  9. Keith neil says:

    Keith neil This is a attention-grabbing article by the way. I am going to go ahead and bookmark this post for my brother to read later on tomorrow. Keep up the good work….

    Like

  10. Cheap eye exams says:

    This is such a fun thing for kids to learn and adapt the right nutrition needed on food intake. Now a days, since food chains are everywhere we tend to forget the need of our children’s body. Thanks a lot for this information.

    Like

  11. Nikon D5100 says:

    Very cool. Is there an archive of the Photographs?

    Like

  12. sarah angela says:

    let the recipes out !! . . LOL

    Like

  13. gov talker says:

    much needed information

    Like

  14. Jay Jenkins says:

    This is some important information that many of use have forgotten. It would be handy if the government would send out a leaflet or two giving parents an idea of what to feed their children.

    You dont have to eat in McDonalds every day you know.

    Like

  15. Heather Taft says:

    Looks like interesting about the food chain and the proper nutrition food to be intake. This must be a great idea to maintain healthy body and healthy life. Much thanks for this post.

    Like

  16. jeffg says:

    I wanted to echo Jan’s comments, it’s too bad that we’re not eligible as parents to use this in our homes to raise our kids. it would be very helpful to teach them nutrition and sensibilities.

    Like

  17. KayCee says:

    This is such a fun thing for kids to learn and adapt the right nutrition needed on food intake. Now a days, since food chains are everywhere we tend to forget the need of our children’s body. Thanks a lot for this information.

    Like

  18. Jan Burch says:

    Is there a printed copy to buy, or is it only in digital format? I care for my grandchildren and have found that owning the book (or pamphlet) is the best way to keep them focused on the subject matter. If we borrow and return from the library, or if we read once on the PC,, the impact is only short-lived and does NOT create an ongoing interest in the subject matter.

    Like

    • govbooktalk says:

      Jan, it seems that copies are available only to child care cernters. I think it’s beause the kit is mainly intended for teachers. Here’s the link, in case you want to pursue this:

      Available: to child care centers only, upon request through Team Nutrition: http://tn.ntis.gov/

      Like

      • Jan Burch says:

        Thanks for your timely response, but it appears that I’m not eligible. I’m not a teacher or child care center – I’m just a grandmother, trying to teach my grandchildren on a variety of subjects.

        Like

  19. [...] New York Times (available through free subscription) and the Washington Post. (Tip of the hat to the folks at  Government Book Talk for the [...]

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  20. Joseph Anzalone says:

    Need tips on planting melons,,and watermellons in Hurricane, Utah…which is hot in the high heat area..of Utah..in the summer mont

    Like

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