New USDA Guidelines

by updated 2011/02/18

I have been thinking about where to start on my rant about the USDA and their “update” to dietary guidelines.  If you have read any of my past posts on the USDA you know I am always frustrated by this “official” government agency and their press releases and guidelines.   And although I don’t even want to get started on the insane subsidies provided with our tax dollars to producers of unhealthy products….

These government subsidies are the number one contributor to the typically unhealthy diet we are so often blamed for eating.  The USDA and our elected representatives have done a wonderful job making unhealthy food cheaper than healthy food, enhancing the bottom line of some of the biggest corporations at the same time.  Now they come out with new guidelines that are supposed to help us overcome the effects of the last 50 years of official government food policy.

Anyway, not being a nutritionist, I really could not come up with anything expert and specific enough to counter some of the recommendations just released.  Fortunately I waited long enough that I don’t have too.  Linda Prout, (who, unlike me, is a nutritionist), dissected some of the new guidelines nicely in her latest post on the realities of cholesterol.  I recommend everyone head on over to her blog to read it.  I especially liked this statement: “the government pays corporate giants to grow corn for high fructose corn syrup, effectively making Twinkies cheaper than carrots, and Coke cheaper than orange juice”.  Could not have said it better myself.

Will Sig
1 Binky

The more I read about nutrition, the more confused I get. So many people, including Linda, seem to have such strong views on what we should and shouldn’t eat, and much of it is based on studies or evidence that seems convincing. But when one nutritionist says something is bad for you, and another equally qualified nutritionist says the exact opposite, who is it that we should believe? The one who expresses the viewpoint we want to hear, I suppose. I would like to know the truth, but it’s hard to know where to find it. No one is unbiased, it seems.
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2 Will

I fell your pain Binky! You kind of have to just read it all and use common sense. For example, I have always wondered about the advice not to eat fats like butter. So many of the healthy elderly people I have known eat plenty and do quite well.

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3 Alan

You’re very right that unhealthy food is a lot cheaper than healthy food. This a huge reason for our diabesity epidemic.
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4 Will

Hi Alan – And our taxes pay for the subsidies that make that food cheaper at the store. If we are going to subsidize we should subsidize healthy food.

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5 Wilson

The USDA reports that there are 127 ways to eat a serving of fruit or vegetables for less than the cost of a three-ounce candy bar. The choice to eat fruits and vegetables lies with each person alone. Obesity is an issue of personal responsibility, both for the foods that we eat and also for the physical activity we participate in.

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