How Much to Plant Per Person in the Vegetable Garden – Live Love Fruit

Every year I always end up planting too little or too much, and for some reason, I just don’t learn from my mistakes.

As I sit here, writing this, looking at my 30+ kale sprouts that I started indoors, and 5+ watermelon sprouts. Yes, I’m laughing at myself.

I do have a feeling, however, that I’m not the only person who doesn’t properly plan out their garden before starting a billion seeds indoors to transplant in summer.

If you are someone who plans out their garden properly before planting – props to you! It takes a lot of time and patience. It took me nearly a week to research and come out with this chart that I’ll reveal to you soon.

On the other hand, if you’re someone who struggles with determining how much to plant in the garden per person for a year’s worth of food, look no further.

Let’s start with how to plan out your garden.

Planning Out Your Garden

Planning out your garden is an essential first step in the gardening process. If you’ve gardened before and kept track of how much you grow versus how much you eat, then planning out a garden is easy!

If you have never done this before, then no need to worry. That’s why I created this post and graphic.

But when it comes to planning out a garden, all of the determining factors are highly variable. That is, most people don’t have the same sized garden or back yard, growing conditions and location of the garden may be different, and even what you like might be different. 

I created the graphic below trying to keep everyone in mind. I added some of the most popular vegetables (and fruit like tomatoes, strawberries, etc.) as part of the graphic, and tried to keep everything as close as possible keeping space in mind. 

With that being said, all of these plants can be switched up. If you don’t like red cabbage, sub in more green cabbage. If you don’t like rutabaga, sub in more carrots. 

The first step in planning out any garden, of course, depends on its size. So let’s start there.

1. How Big is Your Garden?

When figuring out how much you can plant per person in the garden, you need to look at the size of your garden first.

If you only have a small back yard, then you might not be able to plant enough to sustain you or your family for an entire year.

But that doesn’t mean you should not grow anything entirely!

Sometimes thinking outside the box is the best thing anyone with a small garden can do. If you have a chain-link fence, consider growing some green peas along the side of it so they can use it as a trellis to grow.

If you can, utilize the space in your front yard if your municipality allows it. Some people turn their entire front yards into gardens and manage to be self-sustainable year-round on what they grow.

If you have any extra large planters laying around, turn them into part of your vegetable garden. I personally have at least 6-7 planters on the concrete pad in our backyard, in addition to my lawn-converted garden.

Getting crafty and creative with how you use your space may mean all the difference in how much food you can produce.

2. How Many Vegetables Should You Plant Per Person?

Deciding how many vegetables you should plant per person in the garden depends on what you like to eat, which vegetables and other plants store well long-term and how many people you have in your family.

The graphic and chart below demonstrates how many vegetables (and fruit) you should plant for a single person. If you’re a family of four, then you would have to multiply this number by four!

I know it seems like a lot. If you plan to store these vegetables (or at least the ones that can store) long-term to use for the entire year, then these are the amounts you would need.

You should also keep in mind that people who are younger might need less than someone who is older and requires more caloric intake.

3. What Do You (or Your Family) Like to Eat?

Determining what you or your family likes to eat is another thing to keep in mind before planning out your garden.

If you don’t like kale, then don’t grow kale.

If you only eat rutabaga once or twice a year, don’t waste the space in your garden, and purchase this item when you need it instead.

Focus on what vegetables and fruit you really love and would regularly eat and/or store for one year.

I would personally plant an entire acres worth of strawberries if I could. I normally go out to an organic farm to pick over 30 liters every year, but this costs a lot of money. So for me, it would make sense to grow as many strawberries as I can to store in the freezer throughout winter.

4. Will You Eat Throughout The Season or Grow for Storage?

Some of the vegetables and fruit included in the chart below don’t necessarily store very well over winter.

Take cantaloupe, for example. This would be an item I would enjoy at the end of summer, as it probably wouldn’t store for very long throughout winter.

The chart below is not intended to keep you completely self-sustained on only your garden. It is more of a supplement to reduce the costs of purchasing groceries throughout the year.

For example, you still might need to purchase fruit throughout winter, and greens. But the things that store long like carrots, beets, potatoes, and cabbages should technically last you all winter long if you’re good at planning out your meals for the week.

You can even store things like corn and peas in the freezer if you de-shell the peas and cut off the kernels from the cob.

5. What Does Your Climate Permit?

Another thing to keep in mind is what your climate permits!

Determine what zone you live in, so that you can grow accordingly.

Here in Manitoba, I live in zone 3b, so that means that I live in a ‘temperate warm summer region’. Our growing windows are very short, so many of us have to start seedlings indoors before sowing into the ground.

If you know your planting zone, I found this resource as a great place to find out when to start your seedlings indoors, or if you have to at all.

When it comes down to it, the productivity of your garden and number of plants you can grow may vary based on climate and soil differences.

How Do You Store All of These Vegetables?

If you are planning on storing your produce over winter, then you might want to look at various forms of cold storage, like making your own root cellar out of trashcans or large buckets.

The biggest variables that determine how long your harvest will last are:

Cooler temperatures slow the rate at which your vegetables go bad. Most vegetables store well at temperatures between 32 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 to 10 degrees Celcius.

Humidity levels will also depend on how fresh your produce stays. Most produce stores best in an environment where the relative humidity is high – between 85-95 percent.

Air circulation is also important, as stale air can increase the growth of mold and other pathogens we don’t want.

I highly suggest looking into homemade root cellars, or other methods of cold storage that help fresh produce keep for long periods of time.

Other options for storage are canning, dehydrating, and freezing.

While I have never done any extensive canning in my life, I have dehydrated and frozen much of the harvest I get at the end of the year.

If I have any extra kale, I freeze it to put in smoothies. I also freeze any berries I pick throughout summer so I can eat them all winter.

For my tomatoes, I usually dehydrate them to make “sundried” tomatoes and use them in various raw vegan sauces and meals.

How Much to Plant Per Person in the Garden

Keeping all of the above in mind, now you can plan out your garden accordingly.

The graphic I created below is meant to give you some general guidelines for what would work best. I created it keeping companion planting in mind.

Companion planting is the practice of planting two or more plants together for mutual benefit. For example, certain plants might be grown together to help each other meet their nutrient requirements, growth habits, or pest-repelling abilities. 

A classic example of companion planting comes from the Three Sisters trio – maize, climbing beans, and winter squash – which were often planted together by various Indigenous Nations across North America.

I decided to include the most commonly grown vegetables, along with some fruit like strawberries and melons. You can adjust the number of vegetables in the chart as you please. If you don’t like rutabagas, sub in some more carrots. Or, if you don’t want red cabbage, you can plant more green cabbage or beets.

how much to plant per person in the vegetable garden to grow a years worth of food graphic chart
Click the image for a full-sized printable version

The Bottom Line

Determining how much you can plant per person in the vegetable garden for a year’s worth of food takes some planning and careful consideration.

By understanding how much you can grow in the space you have, what climate you live in, what foods you like to eat and whether you’ll be storing your harvest long-term, you can accurately plan a successful garden.

Utilizing this handy graphic on planning your own vegetable garden will give you a birds-eye view and approximation for how you might want to plan out your own garden this summer.

Heirloom Vegetable Seed Bucket | Wise Food Storage

Quick Overview

This bucket contains 39 different varieties of hand-selected non-hybrid, non-gmo, open-pollinated vegetable seeds. With up to a 10 year shelf life, these seeds will be the ultimate tool in your preparedness kit. All 39 varieties of seed have been hand-selected and packaged in its own mylar foil bag, and each kit contains more than 4,500 Heirloom Seeds.

How to start your own backyard vegetable garden

Vegetable gardens for beginners: 6 steps to get started

Kim Kleman
For The Journal News
Published 7:31 AM EDT Apr 13, 2020

During periods of uncertainty, time outside in a natural setting can provide a measure of calm.

Taking an actionable approach by growing your own vegetables may provide a small sense of control, even if the vegetables produced are a small supplement to your diet. Gardening is a low-tech (hey, no-tech!) activity you can do with your kids or grandkids.

If you’ve always wanted to grow your own vegetables and feel that now is the time to start, but don’t know how to begin, here are some basic tips:

Vegetable garden in late summer. Herbs, flowers and vegetables in backyard formal garden. Eco friendly gardening
firina, Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Where to plant?

Most vegetables require six to eight hours a day of direct sun, so a plot with a southern or southwestern exposure is perfect. Avoid low areas that tend to drain poorly. As a beginner, keep your plot to 100 square feet or less. That size will take you roughly an hour to prepare, an hour to plant and a half hour each week to weed, water and harvest.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have the perfect location — almost nobody does. Consider using several small areas to take advantage of fragmented sunny spots. Or interplant vegetables in your flower garden. Many vegetables grow well in containers on a sunny porch. (Container plants dry out faster than garden soil, so you have to be diligent about watering, and these will also require more fertilizer than vegetables grown in the ground.)

Soil prep 

Soil in our area typically has sufficient nutrients to grow vegetables. Do not disturb the soil until it is dry enough to be worked. Wait until a handful of soil crumbles a bit after you if give it a gentle squeeze. There’s no reason to haul in topsoil, but do remove any weeds where you plan to grow your crops.

It’s a good idea to check the soil pH and correct this if needed (pH is the relative acidity or alkalinity that determines nutrient availability). It’s also a good idea to mix in organic matter such as compost. And you’ll want to fertilize occasionally, especially if the vegetables you plant are heavy feeders, such as tomatoes. Consult seed packages and the Cornell Cooperative Extension for information on fertilizer requirements for specific vegetables.

Critter control 

Your hard work will be for naught if you don’t varmint-proof your garden. Unless your vegetables are in containers on an inaccessible deck or patio, this means erecting a tall fence for deer, and one that extends out at least 12 inches horizontally from the base (a few inches under the soil surface) so rabbits and woodchucks don’t burrow. For accessible container gardens, consider covering plants with hardware cloth cages or supported plastic mesh so critters don’t have a feast on your porch.

What to grow?

Plant what you know your family will eat; if they tolerate only vegetable basics, don’t go wild with kale and bok choy. This first year of your garden, consider growing easy vegetables that typically taste better homegrown than store-bought, such as peas, snap beans and some salad greens. Good for small spaces: salad greens, beets, herbs, hot peppers, radishes and snap beans. Tomatoes may be more of a challenge. Start with small to medium-fruited varieties that have multiple disease resistance. Know that broccoli, cabbage, corn, cucumber, melons and squash take up a lot of room and can get buggy.

Various types of lettuce grow in vegetable gardens
Cate Gillon, Getty Images

How to plant and how much to grow?

Plant tall vegetables in the back (north side) of your garden so they don’t cast shadows on smaller plants. Save space by trellising crops that produce runners or vines, such as squash and pole beans. You can group plants together with similar requirements, such as those that tolerate a bit of shade, or group early crops together so you can plant a second batch more easily. You can plant in rows or in “blocks” of plants; the latter provides a higher yield.

Avoid growing too many plants of one crop. A few productive tomato plants can supply the average family more than enough fruit. A few square feet of radishes or lettuce can overwhelm you; if you plant several at a time biweekly, you’ll have a steadier supply of produce. Follow advice on seed packages or seedling pots for planting, spacing and yield information.

Care and harvest 

Keep seeded areas evenly moist until plants emerge. Mature vegetables typically require an inch of water per week. A good, deep soaking is better than frequent, light waterings. To minimize diseases, water early in the morning and try not to wet leaves. Fertilize only as necessary. Suppress weeds with a thin layer of organic mulch or pluck them when they’re young; they otherwise compete with your vegetables for light and water. Harvest vegetables regularly and at their peak for continued production (and best flavor).

For more information on vegetable gardening, contact your local Cooperative Extension. In Westchester County, see westchester.cce.cornell.edu  

Outside of Westchester, find your local Cooperative Extension office at cce.cornell.edu/localoffices.

Kim Kleman is a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester.

Fruit and vegetable plants ‘nonessential’ under governor’s order | Michigan Radio

An extended “stay at home” order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer bans selling fruit and vegetable plants. Workers at greenhouses and nurseries say that makes no sense.

The governor wants people to restrict their trips from home to getting the essentials such as fuel and food. Retail garden centers have been ordered to close temporarily.

Callie Gafner works at a small garden center. She says banning fruit and vegetable plants does not help limit the spread of COVID-19.

“If you’re growing them yourself, you’re reducing the contact between people because you’re not going anywhere. You’re going out in your own garden and picking them up rather than going into the store and coming into contact with how many people?” Gafner explained.

She says garden centers can do “no contact” sales following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“[I] Just want us to be able to do curbside pickup and help our local customers to be able to do their own gardening and put the money back in the local economy,” Gafner said.

She adds, at a time when so many people are troubled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many find gardening relieves stress and is productive as well.

Farmers markets are also barred from selling seedlings for fruits and vegetables.

“Currently there is a ban on all plant sales at the market. So, that is a big portion of our May market and so we might have to limit particular vendors at that time,” said Rori Jean Trench, Executive Director of the Fulton Street Market in Grand Rapids in an appearance on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program with April Baer.

In a news release, the Michigan Farm Bureau indicated that its president, Carl Bednarski, sent a formal request to Governor Whitmer to “ask for a reconsideration of retail garden centers to be included as essential infrastructure workers.”

A Farm Bureau horticulture specialist says the industry has an estimated retail value of up to $700 million and more than 9,000 employees.

Michigan Governor Bans Gardening, Sale Of Fruit and Vegetable Seeds, Gardening Supplies Prohibited

America is getting a real glimpse of life under left wing Democrat rule. Frightening.

This is the same left-wing nut who banned hydroxychloroquine despite its unquestionable efficacy in treating Coronavirus.

Related: Trump-Deranged Michigan Gov. Whitmer Reverses Ban on Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquin, Now Begging For It

Michigan Governor Deems Gardening Supplies — Including Fruit And Vegetable Seeds — ‘Non-Essential’

By: Virginia Kruta

Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s latest executive order deems a number of home-improvement and gardening items — including fruit and vegetable seeds — “non-essential.”

In addition to enforcing social distancing measures and limiting the number of people in the stores that were allowed to remain open — in order to slow the spread of coronavirus — Whitmer’s April 9 order also gave explicit instructions with regard to items that could not be sold as they were considered “non-essential.”

The restriction on gardening supplies struck a nerve, which came just as the weather was beginning to warm to the proper temperatures for most early planting.

I didn’t believe this at first, but Whitmer’s order does indeed require stores to shut down their gardening and planting sections. https://t.co/aV7AOigtQp

— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) April 10, 2020

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey pointed out that Michiganders could still legally buy marijuana while they were effectively being barred from planting home gardens. “In Michigan today you can buy weed but not seeds,” he said.

In Michigan today you can buy weed but not seeds. https://t.co/XXfPiYvLfl

— Sen. Mike Shirkey (@SenMikeShirkey) April 10, 2020

A few of the other items cordoned off in larger retail stores pursuant to Whitmer’s order raised eyebrows as well.

I sure hope so. I wish the Gov would have just kept on copying and pasting Ohio’s orders would have provided a lot more clarity and buy in from the business community & the public. We can defeat this pandemic, but in your country we have to have the public’s buy-in! pic.twitter.com/XloHbKLg3u

— Aric Nesbitt (@aricnesbitt) April 11, 2020

https://twitter.com/search?q=place%3A67d92742f1ebf307

Lots of anger from friends and family back home. This is the 3rd or 4th different post I’ve seen this afternoon. pic.twitter.com/ELbRRgga6k

— Shane Styles (@shaner5000) April 10, 2020

Governor Whitmer’s order also prevents the purchase of car seats, which are both required by law and now apparently non-essential. https://t.co/DQmnYZyasH

— Ben Domenech (@bdomenech) April 11, 2020

Whitmer signed one of the most aggressive “stay-at-home” orders Friday. In addition to banning all public gatherings of any size, the new order — which took effect Saturday — barred residents from traveling between homes even if they owned both properties.

The Michigan governor is reportedly on former Vice President Joe Biden’s short list to be tapped as his vice presidential nominee.

Vegetable Vendors’ Daughter Tops State in Aero Engineering, Aims to Join ISRO!

For the last four years, 22-year-old Lalitha R Avali from Hiriyur, Chitradurga, would begin her day at the wee hours of dawn.

“I would wake up around 4 AM and head to the Nehru Market in Hiriyur, where my parents sell vegetables. I’d carry my books along, and in between assisting them with the sales, I would try my best to study,” she mentions.

Afterwards, she would head to East West College of Engineering in Yelahanka, Bengaluru, where she was pursuing a BE from the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. The college falls under the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) in Belagavi.

The daily grind would wear her out at times, but Lalitha was tireless in the pursuit of knowledge, and consistently aced all her examinations with flying colours.

Even so, she was stunned when she found out about her incredible final-year results, which were released on 1st February 2020.

Lalitha scored the first rank in the state, a remarkable 9.7 percentile, in Aeronautical Engineering and also acquired a commendable score of 707 in the GATE examination.

On Saturday, 8th February, the state topper will be felicitated at the VTU campus in Bengaluru with the coveted gold medal.

“It feels great. My family is elated right now. I am the first graduate in my family. In fact, our whole district is celebrating,” she adds.

Making her parents proud

Lalitha ascribes the entire credit for her success to her parents.

“There was no shortage of struggles in our life. I have seen my parents toiling day and night to support the family. Still, they managed to provide us with the best academic opportunities. I will forever be grateful towards them,” she shares with The Better India, amidst a flurry of  congratulatory messages and phone calls.

Lalitha (second from left) with her family
As expected, her parents, Rajendra and Chitra, are overjoyed at their eldest daughter’s results. While they did not get the opportunity to complete their schooling due to financial constraints and have been engaged in their ancestral vocation of selling vegetables for the past 40 years, they ensured that their three daughters received a decent education and opted for mainstream careers.

The state topper also thanks her college teachers and classmates for their tremendous support. Impressed by her consistent good results, the college administration had offered free hostel facilities to her, which saved her an exhausting daily bus journey and several precious hours.

A space scientist in the making

When asked about her future plans, Lalitha, who considers K Sivan, the present chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as her role model, mentions that she wants to pursue a Masters’ degree in Aerospace Engineering from any leading educational institution like IIT or IISc.

“My dream is to work as a space scientist in India. I wish to join ISRO or DRDO,” she concludes, with a huge smile.



(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

Like this story? Or have something to share?
Write to us: contact@thebetterindia.com
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Pasta is now a vegetable in American schools under Trump admin guidelines

Certain kinds of pasta can be considered a vegetable for millions of public school meals, according to new rules proposed by Donald Trump‘s administration.

The new school guidelines released by the US Department of Agriculture last week would allow for more foods like pizza, burgers and french fries to appear on school menus as part of its sweeping revisions of a school lunch program from former First Lady Michelle Obama. Cuts to her signature policy under Barack Obama‘s administration — intended to reduce childhood obesity in the US — were announced on her birthday.

Among the changes are allowances for pastas made with potato, soy or other starchy vegetable-based flours to be considered as a vegetable serving.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

The rules said: “Pasta made of vegetable flour may credit as a vegetable, even if the pasta is not served with another recognizable vegetable.”

The agency said the rules were meant to “simplify” existing school lunch policies under the 2010’s Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Officials said that by expanding the types of foods that qualify as a vegetable, rather than students throwing out food they don’t want to eat, schools are more likely to reduce waste. 

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Created with Sketch.











All the president’s lawyers: The team fighting Trump’s impeachment

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All the president’s lawyers: The team fighting Trump’s impeachment

1/6 Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz is a controversial American lawyer best known for the high-profile clients he has successfully defended.

Those clients have included OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

One longtime Harvard Law associated told the New Yorker Dershowitz “revels in taking positions that ultimately are not just controversial but pretty close to indefensible.”

2/6 Ken Starr

Starr became a household name in the 1990s as the independent counsel who led the investigation that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

That investigation began as a look into a real estate scandal known as Whitewater, and eventually led to impeachment after Mr Clinton lied under oath about having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Sekulow is the president’s longtime personal attorney, and, now, personal lawyer in the White House.

He has been accused by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas of being “in the loop” during the Ukraine scandal.

4/6 Pam Bondi

Bondi is the former attorney general in Florida, and a longtime backer of the president’s.

She made a name for herself in Florida for taking hyper partisan stances on issues, and her penchant for publicity.

She is likely to be a prominent public-facing figure during the trial.

5/6 Pat Cipollone

Cipollone is the White House counsel, and leading the president’s defence team.

6/6 Rudy Giuliani

While not officially named as one of the president’s impeachment lawyers, it is hard to ignore Giuliani’s outsized role in this process.

The former mayor of New York has been making headlines for months as he defends his client, and for his apparent role in the effort to compel Ukraine to launch the investigation into Joe Biden.

We’ll see how he figures in the actual trial, which he has said he would like to be a part of.

1/6 Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz is a controversial American lawyer best known for the high-profile clients he has successfully defended.

Those clients have included OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

One longtime Harvard Law associated told the New Yorker Dershowitz “revels in taking positions that ultimately are not just controversial but pretty close to indefensible.”

2/6 Ken Starr

Starr became a household name in the 1990s as the independent counsel who led the investigation that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

That investigation began as a look into a real estate scandal known as Whitewater, and eventually led to impeachment after Mr Clinton lied under oath about having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Sekulow is the president’s longtime personal attorney, and, now, personal lawyer in the White House.

He has been accused by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas of being “in the loop” during the Ukraine scandal.

4/6 Pam Bondi

Bondi is the former attorney general in Florida, and a longtime backer of the president’s.

She made a name for herself in Florida for taking hyper partisan stances on issues, and her penchant for publicity.

She is likely to be a prominent public-facing figure during the trial.

5/6 Pat Cipollone

Cipollone is the White House counsel, and leading the president’s defence team.

6/6 Rudy Giuliani

While not officially named as one of the president’s impeachment lawyers, it is hard to ignore Giuliani’s outsized role in this process.

The former mayor of New York has been making headlines for months as he defends his client, and for his apparent role in the effort to compel Ukraine to launch the investigation into Joe Biden.

We’ll see how he figures in the actual trial, which he has said he would like to be a part of.

USDA secretary Sonny Perdue said that “schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work.”

The proposed guidelines also would permanently consider potatoes and other starchy foods as a fruit and would permit only half a cup of fruit rather than a whole cup to be served as a breakfast item. Missing calories can be filled with pastries and other starchy foods. Potatoes can also be served as a vegetable every day.

Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, said the rules “allow anything that might be allowable as an entree on any one school day to be served as an a la carte item every single day”, creating a “huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines” to include foods that are “high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day”.

That loophole could be exploited by meat, soy, potato and other industry lobbies to expand their footprint on school menus, critics say.

Mr Perdue’s latest guideline follows an April 2019 memo from the USDA to state and regional program that “expands flexibility for crediting vegetables” by making allowances for pastas made with vegetable flours and beans.

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act mandated that participating schools include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options on their menus while decreasing the amount of sugary, fatty and salty foods available to kids on campus.

Following its passage, the USDA reported a nationwide increase of children eating 16 per cent more vegetables and 23 per cent more fruit during lunch, and 90 per cent of participating schools reported students were meeting the new nutritional standards.

Upon entering office under Mr Trump, Mr Perdue began rolling back some of those standards by allowing looser sodium regulations and otherr changes. 

Pasta is now a vegetable in American schools under Trump guidelines | The Independent

Certain kinds of pasta can be considered a vegetable for millions of public school meals, according to new rules proposed by Donald Trump‘s administration.

The new school guidelines released by the US Department of Agriculture last week would allow for more foods like pizza, burgers and french fries to appear on school menus as part of its sweeping revisions of a school lunch program from former First Lady Michelle Obama. Cuts to her signature policy under Barack Obama‘s administration — intended to reduce childhood obesity in the US — were announced on her birthday.

Among the changes are allowances for pastas made with potato, soy or other starchy vegetable-based flours to be considered as a vegetable serving.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

The rules said: “Pasta made of vegetable flour may credit as a vegetable, even if the pasta is not served with another recognizable vegetable.”

The agency said the rules were meant to “simplify” existing school lunch policies under the 2010’s Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. Officials said that by expanding the types of foods that qualify as a vegetable, rather than students throwing out food they don’t want to eat, schools are more likely to reduce waste. 

Shape
Created with Sketch.











All the president’s lawyers: The team fighting Trump’s impeachment

Shape
Created with Sketch.









All the president’s lawyers: The team fighting Trump’s impeachment

1/6 Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz is a controversial American lawyer best known for the high-profile clients he has successfully defended.

Those clients have included OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

One longtime Harvard Law associated told the New Yorker Dershowitz “revels in taking positions that ultimately are not just controversial but pretty close to indefensible.”

2/6 Ken Starr

Starr became a household name in the 1990s as the independent counsel who led the investigation that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

That investigation began as a look into a real estate scandal known as Whitewater, and eventually led to impeachment after Mr Clinton lied under oath about having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

3/6 Jay Sekulow

Sekulow is the president’s longtime personal attorney, and, now, personal lawyer in the White House.

He has been accused by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas of being “in the loop” during the Ukraine scandal.

4/6 Pam Bondi

Bondi is the former attorney general in Florida, and a longtime backer of the president’s.

She made a name for herself in Florida for taking hyper partisan stances on issues, and her penchant for publicity.

She is likely to be a prominent public-facing figure during the trial.

5/6 Pat Cipollone

Cipollone is the White House counsel, and leading the president’s defence team.

6/6 Rudy Giuliani

While not officially named as one of the president’s impeachment lawyers, it is hard to ignore Giuliani’s outsized role in this process.

The former mayor of New York has been making headlines for months as he defends his client, and for his apparent role in the effort to compel Ukraine to launch the investigation into Joe Biden.

We’ll see how he figures in the actual trial, which he has said he would like to be a part of.

1/6 Alan Dershowitz

Dershowitz is a controversial American lawyer best known for the high-profile clients he has successfully defended.

Those clients have included OJ Simpson, Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein.

One longtime Harvard Law associated told the New Yorker Dershowitz “revels in taking positions that ultimately are not just controversial but pretty close to indefensible.”

2/6 Ken Starr

Starr became a household name in the 1990s as the independent counsel who led the investigation that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

That investigation began as a look into a real estate scandal known as Whitewater, and eventually led to impeachment after Mr Clinton lied under oath about having an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

3/6 Jay Sekulow

Sekulow is the president’s longtime personal attorney, and, now, personal lawyer in the White House.

He has been accused by former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas of being “in the loop” during the Ukraine scandal.

4/6 Pam Bondi

Bondi is the former attorney general in Florida, and a longtime backer of the president’s.

She made a name for herself in Florida for taking hyper partisan stances on issues, and her penchant for publicity.

She is likely to be a prominent public-facing figure during the trial.

5/6 Pat Cipollone

Cipollone is the White House counsel, and leading the president’s defence team.

6/6 Rudy Giuliani

While not officially named as one of the president’s impeachment lawyers, it is hard to ignore Giuliani’s outsized role in this process.

The former mayor of New York has been making headlines for months as he defends his client, and for his apparent role in the effort to compel Ukraine to launch the investigation into Joe Biden.

We’ll see how he figures in the actual trial, which he has said he would like to be a part of.

USDA secretary Sonny Perdue said that “schools and school districts continue to tell us that there is still too much food waste and that more common-sense flexibility is needed to provide students nutritious and appetizing meals. We listened and now we’re getting to work.”

The proposed guidelines also would permanently consider potatoes and other starchy foods as a fruit and would permit only half a cup of fruit rather than a whole cup to be served as a breakfast item. Missing calories can be filled with pastries and other starchy foods. Potatoes can also be served as a vegetable every day.

Colin Schwartz, deputy director of legislative affairs for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, said the rules “allow anything that might be allowable as an entree on any one school day to be served as an a la carte item every single day”, creating a “huge loophole in school nutrition guidelines” to include foods that are “high in calories, saturated fat or sodium in place of balanced school meals every day”.

That loophole could be exploited by meat, soy, potato and other industry lobbies to expand their footprint on school menus, critics say.

Watch more

Mr Perdue’s latest guideline follows an April 2019 memo from the USDA to state and regional program that “expands flexibility for crediting vegetables” by making allowances for pastas made with vegetable flours and beans.

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The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act mandated that participating schools include more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low-fat dairy options on their menus while decreasing the amount of sugary, fatty and salty foods available to kids on campus.

Following its passage, the USDA reported a nationwide increase of children eating 16 per cent more vegetables and 23 per cent more fruit during lunch, and 90 per cent of participating schools reported students were meeting the new nutritional standards.

Upon entering office under Mr Trump, Mr Perdue began rolling back some of those standards by allowing looser sodium regulations and otherr changes. 

Vegetable prices may soar 50 per cent as growers face perfect storm of bushfires and drought – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The price of vegetables is expected to jump by up to 50 per cent as catastrophic bushfires destroy crops and shut down highways while growers remain under pressure from ongoing hot and dry conditions.

Key points:

The vegetable industry’s peak body, AUSVEG, made the forecast, with chief executive James Whiteside warning that Queenslanders, in particular, would cop the higher prices because so much of the state’s produce came from, or through, Victoria and New South Wales.

He said with the Princess Highway shut by the fires, the produce was having to take the long way round to the supermarket shelves — and that added time and cost money.

“That product has to be rerouted through Melbourne and up the Hume Highway, which adds significantly to the time, cost and duration of moving product around,” he said.

“That’s certainly having an impact on what you’re seeing on the supermarket shelves in the northern half of Australia.”

Which vegetables will be worst affected?

Mr Whiteside said the prices of “pretty well anything” will go up, including cauliflower, broccoli, green leafy vegetables including rocket and spinaches, and root vegetables such as potatoes and pumpkins.

“A lot of those products where growers in Queensland have been sourcing out of southern states, which they typically do at this time of year, have been severely impacted,” he said.

He said the size of the price rise would depend on the product and where that fresh food had come from.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices moving up between 20 per cent and 50 per cent,” he said.

“Those sort of larger increases are unlikely to be sustainable, but consumers will see a range of higher prices across pretty well everything.”

Who will feel the pinch?

The closure of a critical arterial between Queensland and southern states has been mirrored on the other side of the continent.

The only sealed road connecting Western Australia and South Australia — the Eyre Highway — was closed for 12 days over the New Year period, trapping trucks and travellers on either side of the Nullarbor Plain.

At the time, Adelaide truck driver Glenn Freestone said the closures had “crippled” the transport industry.

“Out of the past month, I’ve been stuck for 22 days,” he said.

The AUSVEG boss said that had to have had an impact.

“There’s been some significant disruption there,” Mr Whiteside said.

“The Bass and East Gippsland regions (in NSW) are the ones that have been substantially impacted by interruptions to the supply chains.”

And for those relying on Queensland produce, the drought means less produce being sent interstate, so the price of those products is also likely to go up.

“Just this ongoing drought meant that the prospects for the next couple of months to put a product out of the Lockyer Valley and up the Queensland coast — it’s likely the volumes will be down if we don’t get substantial rainfall for the next six or 12 weeks,” Mr Whiteside said.

What can buyers do?

Mr Whiteside said it was important for buyers to understand and appreciate why prices were higher.

He said buyers and sellers both had a role to play in supporting the growers hit by fire and drought.

“Our message to the supermarkets is to try, wherever possible, to shield consumers from higher costs they might be paying, but also to consumers — if you want to help growers, be prepared to pay a slightly higher price because many growers are going through a pretty tough time at the moment,” he said.

“It’s one way we can all support those growers, to pay a slightly higher price and perhaps accept a quality that isn’t quite as fantastic as we’re used to.”