Government Cheese

Because They Are Poisoning Us

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Location: The Dominion of Canuckistan

I'm just another self-important loudmouth polluting the blogosphere...You?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How Do You Think Mark Felt?

So now we know...

“I am Deep Throat.”

I am Deep Throat!”

“Sit down, boys...”

And now we know. (Yawn)

The man whom Nixon passed over for the appointment to FBI director got his vengeance on his Commander-in-Chief by playing cloak-and-dagger games with a coupla cub reporters.

Bernstein, left, with by-line buddy Woodward, during the leaner but bushier years. Don’t you miss those fat neckties?

And now the world knows the answer to the decades-old mystery.
Bradlee over at the Post has confirmed Felt's claim but Carl Bernstein stuck to his guns Tuesday after Felt’s announcement:

"With all our confidential sources, we agreed not to identify them until their death," he promised, speaking for himself and partner-in-crime Bob Woodward. "Nothing has changed that. No one has released us from any pledge. It is our intention not to identify Deep Throat until his death."

Raise your hand if you care.

UPDATE: Win Ben Stein's Wisdom

The one-time Nixon employee offers some perspective:


Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible?

He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad?

Oh, now I remember. He lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose. He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded.

That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying conniving seducer like Clinton -- a lying conniving peacemaker. That is Nixon's kharma.

Hat tip: Kitty Litter


Stein follows up again.

Hat tip: L-Dotter Dreadnaught

Saturday, May 28, 2005

But How Do They Know?

The article seems innocent enough if you can get past the lede. It begins:

"A group of researchers from Israel has discovered that rats exhibiting the signs of depression..."


There a million jokes running through my head, most beginning with something like...
"How can you tell when your Israeli rat is depressed?"

"How many Jewish exterminators does it take..."

"This rat walks into a shrink's office..."

Rats. Depressed. Rats. Depressed!

What, they can't seem to find the gumption to press that lever for one more food pellet? They don't run on their wheel? They give up their search for the cheese halfway through the maze and slump into a dark, quiet funk of rodent angst?

Seriously, this article is what we need more of: Hard studies from the legitimate medical research community demonstrating a solid relationship between essential fatty acid balance and mental and physical health. And there is more serious exegesis over at the Fish Oil Blog.

In the meantime I will continue to take my fish oil pills, and hope the vermin can find a way to cheer up.

Hat Tip: Marshall Sontag

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Food Fight in the School Cafeteria

It certainly isn’t news that America’s public schools serve unfavorable food in their cafeterias, nor that many offer vending machines selling crap. In need of the extra income, many schools have resorted to installing fast food franchises right in their lunch lines. Do we really want a lunch menu that feels it must compete with fast food outlets and junk food machines?

Competition is healthy, of course, but parents need to enjoy a monopoly when it comes to feeding their offspring. Is the Free Marketplace the ideal laboratory for the social experiment we call our future? As our society increases its access to fast, cheap, garbage chow, it is time for parents to reclaim the public schools as one of their children’s few remaining nutritional havens.

True Story:

When I visited my son’s middle school last year for a band concert I was appalled at the hand-scrawled sign taped to a soda machine in the lobby of the building:


Imagine my relief at the assurance that the youngsters were only allowed to drink Coke before 7:30 AM!

Sometimes the junk slips past the hall monitors in less obvious ways. This article by Andrew Stark in Policy Review discusses the strings attached to the money from which many schools benefit through private advertising. Each morning millions of children in 12,000 schools are a “captive audience” to the closed-circuit cable magazine “Channel One”. The ten-minute daily cablecast has replaced those morning announcements that greeted most of us through that brassy squawk-box.

The controversy, Stark explains, is in the fact that the teen-oriented cable show contains two minutes of commercial time which is sold to sponsors who know they can reach a teenage market that spends 57 billion dollars of its own money annually. Spots peddling everything kids buy, like sneakers and cereal, video game systems and high-carb drinks, are disguised as current events human interest pieces and pseudo-educational science experiments.

Schools benefit from what is a reciprocal deal: Channel One provides the free television monitors and satellite dishes, and the ten minutes of infotainment, in exchange for two minutes’ of the children’s attention, of the teachers’ time, of the classrooms’ integrity. To most schools, famously strapped for valuable supplies, this means $17,000 worth of free A-V equipment, and to many teachers, a welcome 12-minute break in their lessons.

But something is kind of creepy about the arrangement. What would Orwell say? It’s all a little Big-Brothery, don’t you find? Would you accept this arrangement at home? “Let us pump free cable TV into your living rooms. We’ll supply the TV, the cable, the entertainment, and, oh, yeah, a couple commercials too.”

Certainly, there are few school systems that would not benefit from the free equipment. Stark also describes how poorer schools accept Channel One at a rate six times more than wealthier systems do. And there are few American schoolchildren who are not exposed to ten times the amount of commercial broadcasting at home.

School is Supposed to be Good for You

But the point is that school time should be different than after-school time, and different from free time at home. Schoolwork is different than the chores our kids are expected to complete at home. And school lunches ought to be different than what a teenager would eat at the malt shop after school.

School cafeteria chefs need to cook more like cafeteria chefs and leave the chicken nuggets and French fries to the shopping mall food courts.

If you were competing with MTV for your teen’s attention, you wouldn’t be evenly matched. Nor would your parental advice stand any chance against your kids’ I-Pod. So why would you expect a fair fight if your child was given the opportunity to choose between what you were serving for dinner and what he could buy with his allowance at his favorite burger hang-out?

Is there a such thing as a parent who makes a pot roast or a casserole every weeknight, dishes it up, and then offers it to her children along with the option of KFC popcorn chicken or a Big Mac? Do you prepare a fresh garden salad from scratch, top it with a grilled salmon filet, and then hold it over your family’s dinner table with a Monty Hall-like offer, “Now, Junior, you can take this healthy meal I’ve prepared myself OR trade it in for the Wendy’s Value Meal Carol Merrill has behind Door Number Two.”?

Or would you install a Pepsi machine in your kitchen, or allow a candy rack on your sideboard, and offer your family the choice of chocolate, soda, or chips instead of your homemade meals?

This is exactly what our schools’ cafeterias do on a daily basis. More wholesome, if somewhat unappealing, balanced lunches are served in the same space as pizza, corn chips, and chocolate bars. Cola nuts, un-cola nuts…Will you choose wisely?

Time For A Quiz, Class

Kris Axtman of the Christian Science Monitor asks,

Given the choice for lunch, most children would choose:

A. M&Ms and a Diet Coke.

B. Meatloaf and steamed carrots.

'Duh,... That’s a no-brainer.'
(CSM, May 16, 2002)

The story celebrates Elaine Hime, a Houston mother, and my new hero. When she learned her son Jackson ate only chocolate and soda for lunch every day, she started running a twenty-dollar cafeteria tab from which her seventh-grader could deduct his lunch money, only for “ordinary food”. This is a wonderful parent.

Margo Wootan of the bloated Washington PAC called the Center for Science in the Public Interest explains that 98 percent of high schools in the U.S. are forced to exploit their students’ weakness for junk food-stocked vending machines, the profits from which are spent on supplies like sports equipment and band uniforms, books and computers.

98 percent! Think of that. Have you ever accomplished a success rate of 98 percent of anything you attempted? When’s the last time a high school enjoyed graduating that majority of its students? Imagine even a 98 percent attendance rate! Our schools can’t seem to pass 71% of their students, but they’re batting .980 in the sugar series! Three-fourths of middle schools, and nearly half of our elementary schools also have candy and pop machines.

Ms. Wootan, Part of the Problem

“We recognize that schools are facing financial pressures,” concedes Wootan, “but it would be very shortsighted for us to fund our schools at the expense of our children’s health.”

Waddya mean ‘would be’?! Don’t use the subjunctive mood with me, lady! It is shortsighted.

It is criminal. It is not something we would suffer in our own homes, and it is not something we should allow in our schools’ cafeterias.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Big Fat Liars, Part 2

In our last episode we learned that the MainStream Media are just now coming around to admitting the fact that our government has been feeding us the wrong stuff for decades (literally and figuratively). My contention was that they were just waiting for the Democrats responsible for this mass poisoning to get to safe ground so they can rip into the Bush administration. (Taubes’ article ran in the NYT Magazine in July of ‘02.)

The MSM aren’t interested in criticizing something unless they can somehow blame it on the Republicans. (Take for example the issue of sexual harassment: During Clarence Thomas’ hearings, the issue of a superior inviting a subordinate out socially was treated like an archaic institution of torturous oppression that had to be dragged to light and destroyed. But for some reason, in less than a decade, Bill Clinton’s rape victims were snubbed by a dismissive media who were no longer interested in what someone does in his private life.)

Have a Coke and a smile.

So now that a Republican sits in the Oval, it is safe for the Times to print a story describing how, years ago, the U.S. Government pontificated ill advice which led to a thirty-year period of weight gain in America. The media’s implication is that Bush and Cheney are killing us on purpose. The truth is that it was a Democrat who sought nutritional counsel, a Democrat who proposed those fallacious recommendations, and a Democrat who made it policy.

With the exception of Republican President G.H.W. Bush, who appointed future Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger the mostly cosmetic position of Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and who oversaw the introduction of the USDA’s first “Food Pyramid” in 1992, it has been liberal Dems who have aided and abetted the public poisoning of the last four decades.

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Peace Corps helped send America’s bounty around the world, delivering tons of niacin-enriched farina to protein-starved under-developed countries. Was it a good thing? Certainly, little bad can be seen in the generosity of the American people giving away food. But we could ask if any of those cultures are better off today, having survived for two generations thanks in large part to western grain shipments.

Kennedy’s plan was to export the goods America had to offer in an effort to strengthen our image with our would-be adversaries. Billions of dollars' worth of American food has been given away in the name of humanitarianism to our sworn enemies over the decades, and what have we to show for it? I mean, besides Ground Zero? So gloriously has America’s image flourished internationally that when generous Americans yet again donated millions in supplies to victims of the recent tsunami disaster, there was a rumor that relief workers had to make sure no U.S. flags were worn on their sleeves, lest they would offend the delicate feelings of the gentle practitioners of the religion of peace. We couldn’t dare let the beneficiaries of our exported culture believe that we were exporting our culture. That would be mean.

Kennedy apparently had the idea that if we gave free food to the U.S.S.R. they would no longer try to annihilate us. True to liberal tradition, he was wrong. The cream-of-wheat had no sooner left the dock than Russia began building nuclear missile silos on the island nation of Cuba. Kennedy’s solution to the stand-off was to stop sending free stuff to Cuba. For the four-plus decades since, Cuba’s Marxist-Leninist self-proclaimed President-for-Life Fidel Castro has sulked about America’s stubborn refusal to send Havana more free stuff. If only we’d end our ‘blockade’ against our socialist neighbor, Castro’s people could be free to, well, try to destroy us again.

“Please don’t kill us and we’ll give you some rice.”

JFK’s Food For Peace Program: It’s Not Just for Foreigners Anymore

After helping the Nanny State solve the problems of world hunger, McGovern was awarded for his success and was assigned the task of properly feeding his own people. McGovern’s committee was very successful achieving their goal: Using tax dollars to deliver fattening, artery-clogging, insulin-stimulating bleached flour and hydrogenated vegetable shortening to America’s poor urban and rural communities.

The poorest among these target areas was, and still is, Native peoples who generally as a race carry a genetic propensity for insulin sensitivity. There is a tribe in Arizona 50% of whom are diabetic. Some studies show that some tribes of Native Americans, Inuit and Native Alaskans who live beyond the age of 45 acquire Type II diabetes at a rate of between 40% and 70%. McGovern’s brainchild sent them free white flour, shortening and sugar. The only protein included in Uncle Sam’s care packages was powdered milk.

Admittedly, McGovern’s war on domestic malnutrition was one of the most successful programs to come out of Washington, despite its shortcomings cited above. By the mid-Seventies the Committee was preparing to wrap up their work, having succeeded in their endeavors. Of course that would mean dozens of federal employees would have to be reassigned or let go from their positions. But before they cleaned out their desks, they decided that America also had a weight problem they could fix.

McGovern: Poster Child of Insufficient Funds

Time was running out for the task force so they had to work quickly, had to take a couple shortcuts. At the time, and for a short time, McGovern and his wife were on the Pritikin Program, a severely low-fat, high-carbohydrate plan. The Committee decided to create a set of recommendations based on their boss’ diet, and then to assemble a panel of experts, scientists, doctors, nutritionists who would be asked to validate the merits of this low-fat plan. The estimated cost of such a thorough, well-supported study came in at a billion dollars. So they cut corners.

A panel of consultants were chosen who, it was understood, already agreed with the Committee’s low-fat thesis, and would quickly sign off on it. A couple days’ worth of neat, cosmetic hearings cinched it. Nick Mottern, a newspaperman with a penchant for labor advocacy, was selected to write the paper.

Of these shoddy hearings, Dr. Barry Sears writes, “It’s only in the murkier areas of nutrition…that consensus conferences are organized by the government to approve its actions.” (The Omega Rx Zone, New York: HarperCollins, 2002, p. 155.)

We Americans have, as a people, been growing fatter for the past thirty years. Coincidence? No. Not at all. As Walter Willet, Harvard Medical School’s Public Health Dept. chair, is quoted by Taubes, “Something else bad is happening.”

Summary For The Not-Yet Bored

So. Democrat President Kennedy hires liberal Democrat failed candidate McGovern to study poverty in the world, and allocates millions to implement McGovern’s plan to send all the wrong food all over the world. Democrat President Johnson tasks McGovern to form a committee to eradicate malnutrition in the country, and allocates millions to give away for free the same wrong food to poorer Americans.

After nearly eight years of ‘research’ and nothing to show for it, Republican President Ford reminds McGovern that something productive is actually expected, and he had better come up with some nutrition recommendations before his committee is disbanded. For a whopping 2 days they hear testimony, then hire a labor-union propaganda journalista to ignore the scientific data and write his infamous report, “Dietary Goals for the United States”. Fifteen years later they would unleash the ‘Food Pyramid’, along with more confusing government mandated nutrition labels, an expensive bit of bureaucracy trumped only by its reincarnation in 2005. (See my earlier post, below).

During this period, Robert Atkins, a doctor presenting a contrary recommendation to the public, was ridiculed. Congress actually sat him down like a kid in front of the principal’s desk to explain himself. He did; they didn’t take heed.

Now we know better. The government surely knew all along, and so Republican President Bush is to blame.

The frustration caused by the McGovern’s arbitrary low-fat recommendations is dealt with in various intensities.

William Stone III types:

Via Unconstitutional, immoral policy, government is making us fat. It teaches our children lies about how to stay healthy. Its policies encourage health industries to advise and promote lifestyles that are actively unhealthy.

Low-fat dieting is a fairy tale. It is a myth. It is an urban legend. It is an old wives' tale. It has no more scientific basis than the Flat Earth Theory.

Yet, massive parts of our lives -- education, food production, nutrition, medicine,exercise, legal practices, government agencies -- are entirely based on it. …

…Government's notions of what constitutes a healthy diet turn out to be complete fiction. The only way to solve this problem is to remove government from health policy forever.

Kind of radical, Stone, but we hear you. We want to do something about it. Even the MSM wants to. But it’s proven very hard to un-ring McGovern’s bell. Willet is also quoted by Sears: “You really need a high level of proof to change the recommendations, which is ironic, because they never had a high level of proof to set them.” (Ibid., p. 156)

Don’t ya think?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Big Fat Liars

One of the problems with being an Internet blowhard these days is that there are so many other, smarter people who have already written exactly what you want to say.

Here is a comprehensive, if rather wordy, article by Gary Taubes originally published in the New York Times, AKA the so-called “Newspaper of Record”.

Publication in the Times doesn’t necessarily mean the article is entirely factual, of course, (although it is), but its presence on the Old Gray pages is significant in that the MainStream Media finally woke up to the success of low-glycemic diets.

Actually my money says they realized Lo-Carb plans like Atkins and The Zone work considerably earlier than they reported, but, like the Coalition’s success in Afghanistan and Iraq, the NYT and the rest of the MSM could no longer ignore the elephant in the headlines.

Maureen Dowd is, or looks like, one of the millions of women who have not eaten bread since the mid-nineties. She and her cohorts were sharing their low-carbohydrate secrets with each other, privately working on future juicy news stories that would criticize the overgrown federal government and its unnecessary spending, its departments that not only have it all wrong and that spend millions of tax dollars on bad research, but that are actually killing Americans.

As Taubes writes, “…[T]he public health authorities told us…to eat precisely those foods that would make us fat, and we did.” Stop the presses! The people have a right to know!

But that was the ‘Nineties. Those, alas, were the Clinton years. What could the compliant media do about it? The scoop of a lifetime would have to be shelved until the Democrats lost the White House.

Yes, MoDo & Co. had to wait for a Republican administration, one worthy of their scorn, before the NYT would expose even a small department within the U.S. Government as presenting falsehoods to the American people. When Clinton was in office, the Justice Department incinerated over seventy citizens in Waco, Texas, and sent storm-troopers into a private Florida residence to rip a crying, frightened child from the arms of his loved ones in order to ship the kid back to a slave state, and the liberals reported that the Clinton administration was protecting family values.

The Republicans manage the budget now. Now it is time for the media to uncover all that is corrupt and dangerous in the government. When they are not busy throwing around words like “quagmire”, “unwinnable”, or “murky”, the MSM will run an article like Mr. Taubes’, accusing of treachery yet another cell of the deceptive Bush/Cheney/Enron/Halliburton death machine.

The low-fat, high-carb conventional wisdom the above-linked article criticizes was presented to an American public nearly thirty years ago, designed largely by a failed politician, the biggest loser in major party Presidential electoral history, and the most enemy-appeasing, tax-and-spending, radical-accommodating liberal Democrat in our lifetime, George Stanley McGovern.

(Yet don’t hold your breath for the NYT headline, “McGOVERN LIED, KIDS DIED”.)

McGovern: Poster Child of Defeatism

Yes, people, George McGovern. The one-time Democratic Party’s only hope for complete socialist surrender, whose only campaign promise for the Presidency was that he would wave the white flag and run away from our allies in South Vietnam even faster than any of his opponents.

Like Kerry and Edwards, McGovern, and his running mate Robert Sargent Shriver, must have failed to “get their message out” because he only won the District and one state (Massachusetts, not even his home state of Tennessee, uh, South Dakota) versus Nixon’s 49.

So overwhelming was Nixon’s 1972 sweep of the nation’s electorate, liberals insisted it was fixed; like O.J.’s DNA evidence, such an unbelievable amount was, well, unbelievable. (They would do the same in 2000, but, for some reason, did not bother to recount Cook County ballots in 1960)

The Washington Post had to run a series of stories about a bungled wiretapping perpetrated against the Democrat National Committee’s headquarters in the Watergate Hotel by some low-rent wannabe spies who were purportedly hired by Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President (CReEP), and tied their investigation together loosely in an attempt to prove that the Republicans cheated on the election. If the White House could be linked by a money trail to the break-in, the poll results of Nixon’s extreme victory could be explained as subterfuge rather than what it was, the voice of the American people enjoying open elections in wartime.

Yes, that’s it. Voters did not turn out that November to elect the more stable, if somewhat flawed, sitting President who had promised to regain some of America’s dignity by honorably wrapping up our involvement in the U.N. action in southeast Asia, our obligation to an ally.

Voters instead must have gone to the polls to elect the South Dakota Senator who had served as J.F.K.’s Special Assistant, who had poisoned the world’s poorest cultures with cheap American white flour pap, hydrogenated shortening and powdered milk, who had promised to “bring the boys home” despite the fact that over eighty-five percent of the American people favored the war, and despite the certain fall of an ally to an enemy totalitarian regime.

Voters instead were disenfranchised, their ballots manipulated, substituted. The election results were so skewed it was obvious the other guys must have pulled a fast one!

(Had the Watergate break-in succeeded as planned, had the DNC leadership been bugged, their secret strategeries discovered by CReEP, and counter-measures effectively been implemented into Republican campaign tactics, does anyone really think that McGovern’s defeat in ’72 would have been any less humiliating? If he had doubled, even quadrupled his votes, would it have made a difference? And if so, do not let us forget that the break-in was foiled. If a 17-to-520 loss is how you do when you disarm your opponents’ secret weapon, imagine the results if you don’t catch them red-handed!)

So the reason the election results did not reflect the opinion of the oligarchic editorial boards of the Times and the Post must be, can only be, that those mean Republicans cheated.

The MSM has been brainwashing their audience with this fiction ever since.

Next: McGovern: Poster Child of Insufficient Funds

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Happy Birthday, Twinkies

"They've endured."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

'Super Size Me' a 'Flawed Premise'?

So sayeth the death peddlers, AKA the Center for Consumer Freedom, a smoke-filled backroom coalition of burger barkers, sugar pushers and cancer pimps.

“Protecting consumer choice,” declares their masthead, which is what smokers say when their co-workers cough and fan the air. “Promoting personal responsibility…” Responsibility, that is, to choose what we like to buy, watch, ingest, advocate. Amen to that. Sort of.

The slogan of this self-proclaimed group of freedom fighters is not new; it is what the tobacco lobby said when they were dragged before Congress in a wrist-slapping hearing that resulted only in the death of Joe Camel, what Larry Flint sang to the cameras, and what Howard Stern says to the listeners who claim to be offended.

My goal is not to vilify tobacco or shock radio or dirty magazines or even fast food. George Carlin has a joke about the two buttons on the radio: One to change the station, and the other to turn it off completely.

My point is that the junk food and chain restaurant industry has resorted to the same cant as notorious carcinogen producers, narcotics providers and pornographers.

The piece I linked to is this powerless coalition’s attempt to laugh off Morgan Spurlock’s popular, successful, entertaining and scary 2004 documentary "Super Size Me".

You’ve doubtless heard of it, but the movie is one man’s attempt to test McDonald’s defense in a lawsuit (which they won) filed by a couple obese teenage girls. The girls claimed to have been victimized by the hamburger giant’s food and slick marketing; McDonald’s said the chicks could have shown some restraint. Um, no, that’s what they should have said. McDonald’s said the girls probably would have gotten fat anyway, that they were genetically predisposed to corpulence, and that a patron could enjoy their food every day and not gain weight. Spurlock ate only from the McDonald’s menu for his three meals a day, no more, no less.

The movie proves that eating a typical fast-food meal (Spurlock only ate a ‘supersized’ meal when it was offered, about a dozen times) causes an otherwise healthy person to gain body fat at an incredible pace and suffer less visible maladies including depression, a liver condition only theretofore observed in alcoholics, and a diminished sex drive.

OK, so rent the DVD before you read the above-referenced back-pedaling apology by Richard Berman, executive director of the CCF.

It is too easy to pick apart his review line by line as nothing more than a series of babbling excuses from a kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar, the McDonaldland Cookie jar. But a couple deserve parsing:

“It's not a documentary at all.” Tell that to the AMPAA and to Sundance who nominated the film and its director in that category. Tell that to Michael Moore. Tell it to CBS.

Berman contends the film “is a lesson in why obesity lawsuits are so frivolous.” He repeats the mantra we’ve heard for decades whenever anyone has tried to stop automakers or power plants or pharmaceutical companies from murdering us. ‘They only care about making money, those John Edwardses and Erin Brockoviches. Don’t trust them.’ "Spurlock,” he says, "…laughs all the way to the bank.”

An interesting character in the film is Don Gorske, a 6-foot tall man who holds the Guinness Record for eating thousands of Big Macs, several every day. Nonetheless, he is a fit 180 pounds with moderate cholesterol. Berman points out that Gorske's apparent normal health is proof that the source of calories consumed is immaterial, that a certain metabolism will be unaffected whether “…the calories come in the form of Big Macs or brussels sprouts.”

*Sigh* I need some fries.

It is notable that Berman spends the first half of his article pointing out Spurlock’s resume includes an MTV show in which contestants were dared to eat odd things for cash prizes, and so we are to assume that all subsequent efforts by the man are merely another attempt to get rich by daring himself to eat stuff.

It’s enough to make one wish Mr. Berman might have a few profit-making skeletons in his professional closet, a concept once aversive only to Marxists.

Stay tuned.

Republican Governator Takes Food From Children

But in a good way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The New USDA Food Pyramid

When that golden advice rains down from the government, it pours. They recently revealed this "new" Food Pyramid:

I mean, like WTF are we supposed to do with this?! We've been griping how long now for the USDA and Heart Association to do something about the dangerously arbitrary old pyramid that was thrown together by McGovern's ad hoc committee, and this, this is what they come up with?!

What are we supposed to eat? What are we supposed to tell our kids? (Didn't the Monica Lewinski scandal cause enough uncomfortable dinner table questions for us parents?)

Why is the Milk stripe so much wider than the Meat/Beans stripe? Why is Meat thrown in with Beans, or at least without chili powder and a bay leaf?

And why, friends, why, after the research of the last decade, does the first stripe, the big fat orange Grain stripe, remain the biggest recommendation, to be eaten "in relative abundance"? And the Oils the narrowest?

Click on the Headline Link above for an informative bit of cutting edge journalism.

Among its highlights:
"At first glance, consumers might find the USDA's graphic puzzling, since there's no explanatory text or pictures," said Sonja Tuitele of Wild Oats Markets, a chain of natural food supermarkets.

Hmmmm.... Does the Wild Oats Markets sell, oh, I don't know, Grains?

And this gadfly:
"It doesn't try to jam everything into a graphic that people don't understand," said registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Wellness Institute.
[emphasis mine]

Yes, indeed, the new graphic is easy to understand without all those scientific facts "jammed" into it. Oy vey!

Of course, of course:
...Many food companies are embracing MyPyramid. For example, General Foods said it will put the graphic on 100 million boxes of Big G cereal brands.

I bet they will. Just as sexy women are placed in beer advertisements, and those cool R. Crumb cartoons were printed on LSD blotter paper, so will the new Hyperinsulinemia Rainbow be plastered on cartons of Cap'n Crunch. Maybe they could have toy syringes and blood glucose meters inside every box.

I am, perhaps, even more annoyed by that androgynous Marcel DuChamp-esque humanoid figure dancing up the staircase, pointy appendages clambering their way toward the vanishing summit. O, to be there when he/she falls over the other side of the multi-hued ziggurat.

No, strike that...What is most distressing is the amount of my tax dollars and mandatory 'donations' confiscated from food producers by the government to pay countless employees for several years, which resulted in this crap. Not to mention the obvious impropriety of hiring those food producers as consultants:

Critics have raised questions about Porter Novelli, the firm that helped create MyPyramid. Porter Novelli has food companies as clients, but both the firm and the government said the MyPyramid work was handled separately, so there was no conflict.

Oh, well, if they say there was no conflict over at the Potemkin Dietician Labs, I guess it's true!

The nutrition-conscious would do well to ignore this coloring book approach to consumerism altogether, and chow down on a nice thick salmon steak tonight.

Friday, May 06, 2005

It's OK to be Fat.

It's true! The government says so.