Home food preservation, whether through canning, drying, fermentation, freezing, or pickling, is a time-honored method to provide families with a stable and reliable supply of food during leans month after harvest. If you would like to learn more about the topic, please start with the National Center for Home Food Preservation (NCHFP), hosted by the University of Georgia (UGA) at https://nchfp.uga.edu/.
Food and Nutrition Information Center
Listed below are quick links to FNIC's most popular topics and topics of interest. These links rotate frequently so please check back often.
Yes. One major safety concern is the risk of contaminants, lead or other heavy metals in the soil. It is important to investigate the history of the land where produce may be grown, especially if the land is near a former industrial site. Soil tests are recommended for all new gardening sites. In areas with soil health issues, using raised beds or planting in imported soil may reduce the chances of contamination.
All fifty states have right-to-farm statutes. These laws are meant to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits filed by an individual who moves to an area where a farming operation exists, or in some cases where a farm has existed substantially unchanged for some time, and who files a lawsuit to stop the farming operation.
The USDA provides a variety of funding for small farmers that often encompasses urban agriculture. Access the Agricultural Funding Resources page to review programs and options. Many states and local governments also offer funding programs. Access each state’s department of agriculture at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture’s state directory.
Yes. Urban agriculture is loosely defined as the production, distribution, and marketing of food and other products within the geographical limits of a metropolitan area. This includes community and school gardens, backyard and rooftop plots, and non-traditional methods of caring for plants and animals within a constrained area. Some definitions also include farms that supply to urban farmers markets, community supported agriculture, or farms located within metropolitan green belts. Zoning is a critical issue in urban agriculture.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) develops and provides labeling guidance, policies, and inspection methods and administers programs to protect consumers from misbranded and economically adulterated meat, poultry, and egg products. These measures ensure that labels are not misleading and truthful. The FSIS Labeling/Label Approval website provides information on label submission, ingredient guidance, and non-food compounds.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act requires that food labels identify in plain English if the product contains any of the eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soybeans.
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) develops and enforces uniform national standards for organically-produced agricultural products sold in the United States. NOP works to benefit consumers, organic farmers, and processors by taking action against those who violate the law and jeopardize consumer confidence in organic products.
The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) is a leader in online global nutrition information. Located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of the United States Department of Agriculture, the FNIC website contains over 2500 links to current and reliable nutrition information.
The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (Farm Bill) established the Food and Nutrition Information and Education Resources Center (later known as the Food and Nutrition Information Center, or FNIC) as a permanent entity within NAL. (see p.26 of PDF).
FNIC strives to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition. The materials found on this website are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed health professional.
To learn more about FNIC's content and linking policy, please review the webmaster section of the Frequently Asked Questions.
The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this website (or in website pages) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by USDA or the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. Likewise, some databases available on the FNIC website include resources from "non-government entities." Inclusion of these materials in a database does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by FNIC or the U.S. Government.
In person: FNIC Specialists can assist you Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland.
By phone: Call (301) 504-5414 to talk to an Information Specialist
Food and Nutrition Information Center
USDA ARS National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Avenue,
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351