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Historic, Archive Document 

Do not assume content reflects current 
scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. 

PLAiraniTa the yeas’s food supply . — , 

A radio talk "by Miss Miriam Birdsej^e, Extension Nutritionist, U. S. Depart¬ 
ment of Agriculture, delivered in tne Home Deraonstration Radio Hour, January 2, 

1935^ Broadcast By a network of 4S associate IIBC radio stations.- 


Planning the food supply for tlie farm family is not a new idea of course. 
Beginning with, the first settlers- at Jamestown and the Pilgrim Bathers at Plymouth 
Rock, American farm families have struggled to produce in the growing season food 
for their needs, and to lay it By against the lean months of non-production. Our 
first Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed Because the planting plans of the,Pilgrim 
Bathers and their hunting expeditions had resulted in such an abundant and varied 
store of food that the settlers co'^ld face the comir ;; winter with a stout heart. 

The idea that is new is planning the year’s food supply on the/Dasis of the 
family’s nutritional needs. Only during the last fev; years have we learned how 
much of each of the six essential food groups are needed By people of different 
ages to keep their Bodies in good running order, to provide for s'^eady, rapid 
gro.’vvth, and to Build u.p strong resistance again "t disease. These- six food groups, 
of course, are milk; lean meats, eggs anl fish; Butter and other fats; vegetables 
and fruits; grain products; sugar and other sv/eets. Had those who outfitted the 
pilgrim Bathers known how much of each of these food groups the party required for 
their first twelve months and had they Been able to provide it, the survivors of 
that first winter vrould not have liad to sow grain over the graves of the rest to 
prevent the Indians from seeing how their man power had dwindled. The same 
knowledge would have saved the lives of countless pioneers in the generations that 

Some years ago nutrition specialists of the various State Extension Services 
developed the idea of a daily food selection score or standard to guide the home 
maker in securing enough of certain important food groups in her daily meals. 

Most of you know and follow this simple plan, v/hich calls for a certain number of 
servings of milk, vegetables, fruits, efficient protein foods, vdiole grain products 
and water each day. Thousands of farm women who used this device discovered to 
their surprise that the farm, food supply which they had considered ample did not 
enable them to live up to the suggested standard in certain respects, especially 
in the matter of vegetables and fruits. This led them, with the help of extension 
workers, to revise their garden plans, carry out canning and storage Budgets, and 
figure out the size of the poultry flock and the number of dairy and meat animals 
needed to keep their particular families in prime nutritional condition.: 

In 1932, State nutrition specialists Began, w . .:h the help of food produc¬ 
tion and farm management specialists, to combine these separate estimates into a 
plan for a whole year’s Balanced food sxipply and now practically every state 
extension service has published suggestive farmi food supply plans Based on its own 
growing conditions and types of farming, and on the food habits of its people. 


Most of the food "budgets thus vrorked out come very close to, or are "based 
on, one or the other of the two most generous diets recently ixi'blished "by Dr. Hazel 
K. Stieheling of the Bureau, of Home, Hconomics, in...Miacellaneous Fn."blication 183 
the United States Department of Agriculture,'' ■"roo'd"'Dudgets for ifcxrition and 
Production Programs." These two diets are known as the adequate diet at moderate 
cost and the li'beral diet respectively. Some si'ites in the South have worked out 
special yearly food "budgets for share croppers o move'frequently. These "budgets 
provide for generous year round gardens and a relatively smaller, though suf¬ 
ficient, supply of animal foods. 

How, how worthwhile is it, to plan out the family food supply for a year 
in advance and to raise a very large share of it? The money value of the adequate 
food supply at moderate cost for a year for an active farm family consisting of 
father, mother, a "boy in his teens and a child of eight, runs around $12.80 a 
week or $670 a year, figured at last Septem"ber’s retail prices. I feel that it is 
fair to value this farm food supply at retail prices, "because the family has to 
pay the retail price for such of its. foods as it does not produce. Let’s see what 
such an enterprise amounts to for the long pull that investment expei'ts like to 
talk a"bout, , 

Suppose that, over a period of 22 years, 'a farmer and his v/ife raise a boy 
and a girl and send them out from the home farm on their eighteenth birthdays to 
seek their fortunes. The food supply for siich a family for 22 years v;ould be 
worth in round numbers about $12,000, Here are the amazing food totals required 
by the adequate diet at moderate cost (figures are rounded for convenience); 

6,000 gallons of milk 

4 tons of meat and popltry ' 

1,300 dozens of eggs 

2^ tons of butter and other fats 
8 tons of potatoes 
2 tons of dried beans or peas 
4 tons of leafy or green vegetables 
3 '|' tons of tomatoes 
1 ton of dried fruits 
5 -|- tons of other fruits and vegetables 
7 tons of flour and cer^.als 
2^ tons of sugar, molasses and other sv;eets 

And even this doesn’t provide for the hired man, week-end guests, the 
children’s parties, gifts, losses in storage and gross wastes. 

As a housewife, just think of preparing all thek food! Tliinlc of planning 
meals to use it! And, as a home manager, thiiik of paying someone else to raise it 
for you! 

In these days of comparatively lovf farm prices and uncertain farm income, 
of financial obligations and deferred \7antG, it is doubly wise to make a plan for 
a v/ell-balaiiced, thoroughly adequate food supply, and to produce as much of this 
supply as conditions permit. The thought, 'tirae and effort expended will yield 

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generous returns in cash savings, abounding health, variety and enjoyment at 
table, faraily cooperation, and the same sort of satisfaction in good headwork 
that one gets out of putting together a jig-saw puzzle or playing a hand of bridge 
to the best advantage. 

You can get suggestions for working out a yearly food supply plan from 
the Extension Service of your ovm. State College of Agriculture or from your 
counts^ extension agents. These agents v.dll help you fit the general pattern to 
your own particular family and type of farming. If you want to see the basic 
food budgets suggested by the Department of Agriculture, send 5 cents in coin to 
the Government Printing Office in lYashington for a copy of U. S. L. A. Miscellane¬ 
ous publication IS 3 , "Pood Budgets for ll-trition and Production programs," or 
for the fuller and more technical U. S. L. A. Ci:’cular llo. 296 , "Diets at Pour 
Levels of ilatritive Content and Cost." ?/rite to the Division of Cooperative 
Extension for the mimeographed charts called "It*s a $12,000 Enterprise" and 
"plan to Produce the Most of this Pood Supply on the Parm." 

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