100 lb. Club - I"m ANGRY at the USDA!!!




View Full Version : I"m ANGRY at the USDA!!!


lottie63
11-07-2010, 07:33 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/07/us/07fat.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=homepage&src=me

This article enrages me.

:(

usda campaigns against obesity then creates marketing/pr firm designed to get MORE CHEESE on pizza (new dominoes campaign anyone?) and other restaurant foods and even finds ways to get people to use more cheese in their home-cooking.

Also, the 'study' that said 3 servings of dairy a day helps you lose weight, (I never bought it, dairy is not a 'healthy food' by any stretch imo), also, not true and the suspended the campaign after it ran for several years.

AUGH!


QuilterInVA
11-07-2010, 07:42 PM
Dairy is good for you - I didn't get all I should have and now I have osteoporosis - and I did take calcium supplements. Are you a registered dietician?

findingfawn
11-07-2010, 07:42 PM
You know I can remember some years back, there was a great big traveling peanut at our fair. It was a scheme trying to convince people that they should eat more peanut butter and to eat 2 tablespoons a day would help you lose weight. I thought it was genious.. I love peanut butter.. but I can't stop once I eat a bite so I bombed that "diet" big time.

And if I remember rightly it too was promoted by the USDA.

Now as far as milk and dairy.. I'm pretty big on both of them, but I choose lowfat/fat free as much as I can. I probably hit 3 servings a day, I almost always have 1/2c cottage cheese with breakfast, a lowfat string cheese with a snack, and 1/2-1c milk between coffee and cereal. This equals about 240 calories a day... better than the spoonfulls of peanut butter I can eat if given the chance.


Sunshine73
11-07-2010, 07:46 PM
It seems to me that a lot of the time the food recommendations are an educated guess at best. Think about how much the "food pyramid" and the daily allowances have changed in the last 30 years or so.

Personally I think that dairy is an important part of my balanced diet because I know that I don't get enough calcium from other sources. However, I choose lowfat options and am mindful of serving sizes.

lottie63
11-07-2010, 09:02 PM
Okay people, I'm assuming you did not read the article. Because none of the responses have anything to do with it.

Also, I never said don't eat dairy. I do eat dairy, in moderation.

What I"m saying, is that it's hypocritical of the USDA to have a campaign against obesity, and then run a marketing firm that increases dominoes pizza's cheese by 40% (2/3rds your daily allowance of saturated fat in one slice I think it said?)

Also, they were behind the campaign that said that dairy causes weight loss even though studies did not corroborate their assertions. physicians for responsible medicine rallied to get them to stop because it was not supported by facts.

Also, Quilter, I'm not sure why you're asking if I"m a 'registered dietician'? Of course I'm not, I also made no medical claims in anything I said, and when I said diary is not a 'heath food' I also added, "IN MY OPINION."

The occasional bit of cheese or yogurt or skim milk will not hurt you, that is NOT what I am saying, I am saying that dominoes pizza should not be marketed to us by the USDA.

Eliana
11-07-2010, 09:02 PM
I'm not a big dairy fan. I'm one who believes adults do not need milk and especially do not need the milk of a cow. I get my calcium mainly through soy milk....and ice cream. ;)

It is quite aggravating the way the American government can't seem to figure out that there is a direct link to their marketing stupidity and the expanding American waistline. You can't have it both ways! Either our agriculture takes a hit or our health budget does. Pick one.

lottie63
11-07-2010, 09:09 PM
Eliana, I agree. Although I lurv cheese, I can't eat much dairy it aggrivates my fibro. I switched to silk long ago, and honestly never liked milk anyhow, also, it seems rather unnatural for us to drink cows milk. I believe I'd read that humans are the only animals to drink milk after they are weaned and that this is probably not for the best. There's calcium in many healthy non dairy foods.

DixC Chix
11-07-2010, 09:13 PM
First - that squeeze bottle of fat juice just makes me nauseous. BLAH!!! I didn't know they did that to pizza. That explains a lot!!! Eyes wide open now.

This division of the Department of Agriculture is working on a problem for the dairy farmers and the companies that use their products not the consumers. Different departments working at odds with each other? Not uncommon in federal or state government. Different agendas and different missions. It is too bad they didn't try to coordinate the missions by encouraging restaurants to use reduced fat cheese. The bad PR will make an impact - I'm sure they will learn a lesson from the fallout.

I think the "got milk' campaign is encouraging 3 a day low and no fat milk consumption.

Lottie63 - you always start interesting threads. You are a smart chica! I always look forward to reading your posts too.

lottie63
11-07-2010, 09:25 PM
Yes the fat juice looks disgusting. ha. I guess that is what we sop up with the napkin? Ha.

I think that the entire food industry needs re-hauling myself.

I mean, there is the thing with corn. When people say, "Why is junk food so much cheaper?" augh. it's because we are not encouraged to eat healthy by the govt subsidizing healthy foods, they subsidize corn, the basis for HFCS and every junk food under the sun. I think that if we encouraged healthy eating and demanded it with our dollars that companies and the govt would have to stand up and listen.

I just do not agree that it's okay to do that stuff, because they are trying to help dairy farmers. If you can't make it, you can't make it. That is my opinion. The stuff the govt should be doing should be for the greater good (our health) they ***** and moan about obesity and the effect it has on rising health care costs, but then they encourage farming and subsidies that damage our health.

Sorry if I'm ranty, or if you don't agree with me, but, I just hate the way things are done, and the fact that we so easily overlook these things and say "oh it's just how things are done." it's just unacceptable to me. I can't be that way. I have to ask why.

milmin2043
11-07-2010, 09:36 PM
Wow. That article makes me mad as well. Especially this:

The department issued nutritional hints in a brochure titled “Steps To A Healthier You!” It instructs pizza lovers: “Ask for whole wheat crust and half the cheese” — even as Dairy Management has worked with pizza chains like Domino’s to increase cheese.

It is misleading information such as this that makes all of this so much more confusing. I remember when the "Got Milk" campaign started and my DH said he thought it was ridiculous and he wanted to see the actual research showing that a person who drank more milk lost more weight.

I get ticked off by stuff like this too!

DixC Chix
11-07-2010, 10:21 PM
Here is what they should have done - get rid of the hormones that increase milk production of cows (supply goes down, demand goes up - farmers still make money), lets feed the cows organically to produce a better milk to make a better reduced fat cheese product (healthier choice for consmers) and let's get Dominoes to use this new healthier cheese and corner the market on a "Healthy" pizza (no fat juice) to make their money (profitability). That pretty much covers all the bases, right?

I pay more for organic vegetables and fruits, I would be willing to pay more for hormone free, organic milk product type of cheese.

(But Dominoes has got to stop using that fat juice to get me to buy it - - - I cannot stop thinking about the fat juice - *shudder*... BLAH!!!)

smisen
11-07-2010, 10:28 PM
The bottom line is that food and nutrition recommendations shouldn't be made by the USDA, which is almost entirely under the control of food industry lobbyists and representatives of major food corporations.

I mean, there's a lot of issues with food industry representation in government agencies - if we really want to get healthy, start subsidizing broccoli instead of corn products - but moving food recommendations to the Dept of Health and Human Services would be a great first step.

19Deltawifey
11-07-2010, 10:40 PM
Its a lot of hypocracy when it comes to big corporations, I read the article and it doesn't surprise me. Its all about money at the end of the day, they lie or stretch the truth just to get people to buy into the hype.

Of course the people at the top know what causes obesity and instead of doing things for the better of our country they continue to make the situation worse. Of course we have control over what we put in our mouths but as far as educating people and changing food menus in schools that has not been achieved, this is why I make my daughters lunch. Obesity is big business for the medical industry just imagine a healthy America or having universal healthcare, they wouldn't be pulling in as much money as they do now, they profit off of keeping us obese, fat, and sick!. With obesity they are able to develop new technology, new surgery, in the end it puts more money in their pockets with people having to pay premiums and having more out of pocket fees. The way our food marketing is it will never change because its all tied together. You eat the food that has all these hormones and chemicals and crap then eventually some become obese and even those who don't become obese can end up having health problems and need to pop pills for different ailments etc. I don't trust the pharmaceutical companies either. There are lots of things that I don't trust about big corporations and the way our country is being ran/run. That's my vent, hopefully I didn't offend anyone but this was just my opinion

Thin Desire
11-07-2010, 10:57 PM
I agree with you! Thanks for posting this. What's further is sadly, I don't think it's stupidity at all, but rather intent. :| I believe they WANT us fatter. Tell me to put on my tin foil hat if you must, but one day I was bored and compared the sizes of soda across the world from McDonald's large, and McDonald's is not exactly the source of healthy eating.

In Japan, a large soda is 420 mL, but the U.S. large soda is 947 mL! And McDonald's runs smaller than the other chains. At Wendy's it is a whopping 1,242 mL! Yep, a little over HALF a two-liter bottle.

Then there's the issue of High Fructose Corn Syrup. I won't go into the endless debate as to whether or not it's worse than sugar or not. Each has their dangers. But why is HFCS added to things it need not be like breads and soups and hot dogs??

And, now with this cheese campaign, ugh.

IMHO, it would seem TPTB in this part of the world want us fatter, partly by subsidizing corn (for HFCS) and now cheese and dairy. Now the question is...Why? In the meantime, I'm jumping to extremes to keep myself from continuing to get that way.

lottie63
11-07-2010, 11:24 PM
carly and thin, I totally agree.

*Stamp of approval of your rants*

Also, Thin, I noticed you have only 16 posts, I don't know if you're a lurker or if you just joined recetly, but looks like you're doing great. keep up the good work. :)

Aclai4067
11-07-2010, 11:36 PM
Meanwhile, Dairy Management, which allotted $12.4 million for nutrition research in 2008, has moved on to finance studies on promising opportunities, including the promotion of chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink and the use of cheese to entice children into eating healthy foods like string beans.

seriously? ...ugh

freakumdress
11-07-2010, 11:38 PM
@Lottie63....
I agree with you 100% and I hate when people take things out of proportion.
Our country has so much to do with the problem of obesity and sometimes not enough. Im not saying it's thier faults we are overweight or obese but I do believe that there are alot of things that could be done to improve our health. Like reduce pesticides for instance.

why are we paying for chemically treated foods that hurt us but then have to pay sometimes almost double the price for natural organic foods ( the way food should be)....doesnt make sense to me. especially for people with PCOS like me, who dont have money for organic foods...besides what you can get from a farmers market.

ShrinkinSue
11-07-2010, 11:40 PM
The bottom line is we must make educated decisions in all aspects of our lives, especially when it comes to what we put in our bodies.
It's up to YOU to be proactive. If you want a better quality of life, it's up to you to find out all you can about your options.
Thank you all for you tidbits of information

freakumdress
11-07-2010, 11:49 PM
@shrinkinsue
spoken with wisdom...i agree with this as well.

lottie63
11-07-2010, 11:54 PM
DixC, btw, thanks! :)

19Deltawifey
11-08-2010, 12:03 AM
What about those kids who don't have a choice but to eat school lunch. I grew up poor with free lunch while I am thankful for the free lunch program it still gave me no other option as a kid other then to eat junk. My biggest gripe comes with school lunches, I used to be a lunch lady until I moved to Colorado. Unfortunately lots of kids don't get a good start in life with eating healthy nutritious food. The government can do more by making school lunches healthier but they choose not to and unfortunately growing up eating that type of food it was very hard to change. I made the change to eating healthier but others are stuck in the cycle of eating junk. I just wanted to point out that not everyone gets the chance to eat nutritious food and not everyone can afford healthy food.

Thankfully I can do better for my kids by making their lunch every morning but my mom was a single mom so money was extremely tight and unfortunately the cheapest food is junk. Of course us adults can choose better healthier option but kids don't get that option. Ok thats my 2nd rant. Now I'm gone to bed. Nite ladies

Nola Celeste
11-08-2010, 03:26 AM
It is ridiculous that the government speaks out of both sides of its mouth the way they do. Corn and dairy products are heavily subsidized and--wonder of wonders, mirabile dictu!--they are also found just about everywhere! It's amazing to read about the history of the current food pyramid and see just how little real, rigorous evidence there was for it when it was created.

However, the big push for natural/organic/sustainable agriculture has its own problems. Organic farmers cannot call their produce organic if they use certain fertilizers and pesticides; instead, they use older and potentially more dangerous versions of these. Nor are organic farms always the vistas of pristine, sun-ripened goodness their owners present them to be; an organic factory farm is still a factory farm, and the potential problems inherent in using organic fertilizers (read: poop) are legion. Ground-water contamination, e. coli outbreaks, algal blooms in regional waterways, unsustainability to feed over seven billion people--organic agriculture is not without its dangers.

I guess all any of us can do is exercise the muscle between our ears and read up on our options, then make the most informed choices we can. It's a shame when what we read isn't always honest, though. Really, pushing fast-food pizza with extra cheese as great nutrition or ketchup as a vegetable are low points for governmental food regulations. Ugh.

Sorry about the rantiness. :o I think I had too much tea tonight!

Arctic Mama
11-08-2010, 04:42 AM
Yikes, this is why I make my pizza at home or eat Papa Murphy's (where I can 'edit' the contents of the pizza, if I so choose, before baking). As much as I don't mind a company adding more cheese or even marketing hard, promoting it as healthy by the government is going too far. This is why I am frustrated entities like the USDA even exist, mixing business practices and lobbying with government regulations really just obfuscates information more than it helps provide it.

And I loooove me some dairy, it's probably my favorite food grow, but I have inflammatory sensitivities to it. I eat cheese, yes, but it's more in the form of cottage cheese as a snack or a serving of feta to enhance my salads, not gobs and gobs on pizza (too frequently, anyway ;)).

JayEll
11-08-2010, 06:28 AM
Yes, that article does make one think that the world must be crazy.

I had wondered why so many restaurants were adding cheese, cheese, cheese to everything. Now I know! I enjoy cheese, but not in huge gobs.

But ultimately we have choices. You could not pay me to eat Domino's pizza, or Papa John's, or or any of those commercial pizzas. They are just a total food disaster. Fat, salt, carbs!

I don't completely buy the argument that poor people can't afford good nutrition. I have found that there are always better choices possible. No one has to buy junk food because it's cheapest. It's not really cheapest if you consider nutrition. Bag of Doritos vs. can of water-packed tuna...?

Jay

shellsbrood
11-08-2010, 07:37 AM
Not to mention the poor animals who are unnaturally stretched to their limits to produce all this cheese.

"But at the time, the industry was moving toward larger, more sophisticated operations that increased productivity through artificial insemination, hormones and lighting that kept cows more active."

Ugh, that bothered me so much. Did anyone see Food, Inc.? It was very eye opening.

19Deltawifey
11-08-2010, 09:02 AM
I've seen Food inc. as well as other documentaries about the food industry, I have never looked at food the same way since.

Also its not really about junk food being cheaper as it is about junk food having a very long shelf life whereas fruit will go bad within a week or 2. I don't know about you all but I have to shop for fruits and vegs every week (yes we eat them and they don't go bad), this cost us a lot more then junk food (which we rarely buy) you can roll the bag of chips back up and save it for another couple of weeks, thats not possible with fruit. So this was my point when I said junk is cheaper. This might be the reason why so many people would rather spend there money on junk which last a very long time vs fruit and vegs. I'm not saying that its right but junk food definitely last longer and saves money unfortunately. Thankfully we can afford to buys lots of things but for those who aren't as fortunate junk food is more convenient then buying fruits and vegs that will go bad in a week or 2.

goodforme
11-08-2010, 09:32 AM
I get what you're saying about junk food being cheaper, as it applies to school lunches. Growing up we got free lunch, but not food stamps. We had to buy all our food with money my dad earned. Mama could not pack our lunches for free, but we could have a "hot, healthy meal" at school for free. Little did they know how unhealthy it was, carbs and fat mostly. But, compared to today's school food, wow!

I agree that the government should not be endorsing campaigns that get us to eat more, more, more while shoving money out the back door to those farmers. Is there really a solution? Turn off your tv, raise your own cattle, grow your own foods? I try to be an informed consumer. . .

Changed
11-08-2010, 09:43 AM
I'm not a big dairy fan. I'm one who believes adults do not need milk and especially do not need the milk of a cow.



I believe I'd read that humans are the only animals to drink milk after they are weaned and that this is probably not for the best. There's calcium in many healthy non dairy foods.

Yikes, this is why I make my pizza at home



That's correct Lottie! I also believe there is a strong correlation between children grown up on cows milk and adult obesity. Milk historically, was not a beverage for adults.

I use milk in cooking but we (including the smallest members of my family) do not drink milk, ever. After my kids wean, they just drink water. We also eat cheese in some meals. My kids love cheese and I think it's an ok snack but I can't eat it alone like they do.

Gag, fat juice. I'm so glad I make healthier, better pizza on my bbq at home.

Eliana
11-08-2010, 09:52 AM
That's correct Lottie! I also believe there is a strong correlation between children grown up on cows milk and adult obesity. Milk historically, was not a beverage for adults.

I use milk in cooking but we (including the smallest members of my family) do not drink milk, ever. After my kids wean, they just drink water. We also eat cheese in some meals. My kids love cheese and I think it's an ok snack but I can't eat it alone like they do.

Gag, fat juice. I'm so glad I make healthier, better pizza on my bbq at home.

Part of me wants to go that route, but right now it's just me in my family. My kids and husband love milk. But I'm sneaky...I only buy one 2-gallon container of milk and when it's gone, they're all left with soy. Hehehe.

And I'm not opposed to yogurt or ice cream. :D

nelie
11-08-2010, 09:54 AM
I don't eat dairy myself but it is sometimes hard to navigate the eating out world. Often I can omit the cheese but sometimes, it is integrated into dishes. I feel a lot better without eating dairy and I didn't eat a lot of dairy from the start of my weight loss because of the high calories.

There are lots of good calcium sources, much better than dairy (which can actually also leech calcium from your bones), but the dairy council in the US has a lot of money and can influence policy changes.

Eat your greens, eat nuts, seeds and overall just eat a balanced diet.

totsandfries
11-08-2010, 10:22 AM
I've seen Food inc. as well as other documentaries about the food industry, I have never looked at food the same way since.

I have recently become very interested in watching documentaries on the food industry lately, movies like; King Corn, Supersize Me, and Food Inc. as well as Jamie Oliver's food Revolution. I had an idea that there were some issues with our food system but didn't know exactly how awful we are. It was really eye opening.

When I was in high school we had a choice of 1 main course (typically nuggets, pizza or burger) and 2 "veggies" and a milk (generally whole fat white or chocolate milk). The veggies were rarely broccoli, or cucumbers, but EVERY DAY french fries were in the veggie section. I know technically they do contain potatoes... but really?

I mean, have y'all seen the way that chicken nuggets are made? .... disgusting

Jelma
11-08-2010, 10:39 AM
I do not trust the government at all when it comes to our food safety, even less so when they are giving us recomendations about what to eat. I have not eaten commercially produced beef in probably 4 years. I am lucky enough to live a stone's throw away from a fabulous market that has produce and grass fed beef from local farmers, fresh seafood, exotic spices, you name it. The market itself is located in a economically depressed area of the city and they do accept food stamps.

I don't think poor people can't afford healthy/nutrtion food but I do think sometimes they can be less educated about nutrition and lack the time/resources/knowledge on how to prepare good food. I also don't think that it is only poor people that lack these facts. Don't even get me started on school lunches. I have absolutely no problem with my tax dollars going to feed kids meals, I do have a problem feeding them crap. For alot of kids the school lunch is the only meal they get. My friend's mother is a "lunch lady" in a small neighborhood, some kids actually knock on her door on weekends looking for food. How sad is that?! Did any of you see Jamie Oliver's show Food Revolution? More than half the kids couldn't identify simple vegetables!

As consumers the power is in our hands, we determine what food is on the shelves of our grocery stores. But don't be fooled, the big food corporations love to try to trick us with meaningless adjectives, my favorite being "natural."

Jelma
11-08-2010, 10:45 AM
I have recently become very interested in watching documentaries on the food industry lately, movies like; King Corn, Supersize Me, and Food Inc. as well as Jamie Oliver's food Revolution. I had an idea that there were some issues with our food system but didn't know exactly how awful we are. It was really eye opening.

I loved King Corn :) Another really good one is the Future of Food, it focuses on genetically modified food and Monsanto (one scary corporation).

19Deltawifey
11-08-2010, 11:19 AM
I loved King Corn :) Another really good one is the Future of Food, it focuses on genetically modified food and Monsanto (one scary corporation).

I love the docum. Future of Food, I personally would not want genetically modified food and I think they should have to label food as gm.

mandalinn82
11-08-2010, 12:33 PM
The issue is that the USDA's mission statement includes 2 goals that are, in our current food system, contradictory. They are tasked both with promoting US Agricultural products (both in US markets and abroad) and spreading information about healthy eating. The current mainstream US food system (for a LOT of reasons, including corn subsidies, crop monoculture, and factory farming mentality) doesn't really produce much food that is actually healthy...to get to the good stuff, you have to move outside of the farms funding the "got milk" and "the other white meat" and "It's what's for dinner" and "Real California Cheese", and the horrible "Corn sugar" campaigns. So the USDA, to achieve the mission tasked to it without a currently logistically and legally impossible change to the entire structure of the food system, pretty much HAS to contradict itself.

I do want to say, though, that saying the USDA "runs" contradictory campaigns isn't quite accurate. The only campaigns the USDA designs and runs are those related to healthy eating/food pyramid/etc. There are a variety of national organizations to promote a variety of US food products (corn syrup, pork, dairy, beef, etc). As part of their objective to promote US Food products, the USDA makes contributions to this organizations, constituting usually no more than a 10th of the organization's operating budget.

While I dislike that any of the USDA's money is going toward this, again, their hands are pretty tied in terms of actually changing the food industry (they used to have more power in regulating food on a safety basis, but Congress has passed legislation that limited their ability to actually enforce anything even on safety issues, much less on health issues), and the objectives they are tasked with are pretty much in opposition to one another, so without changing either the things they can actually influence or their mission statement, I don't know what other way they could approach this to still meet the mission set before them by Congress.

lottie63
11-09-2010, 02:01 AM
The issue is that the USDA's mission statement includes 2 goals that are, in our current food system, contradictory. They are tasked both with promoting US Agricultural products (both in US markets and abroad) and spreading information about healthy eating. The current mainstream US food system (for a LOT of reasons, including corn subsidies, crop monoculture, and factory farming mentality) doesn't really produce much food that is actually healthy...to get to the good stuff, you have to move outside of the farms funding the "got milk" and "the other white meat" and "It's what's for dinner" and "Real California Cheese", and the horrible "Corn sugar" campaigns. So the USDA, to achieve the mission tasked to it without a currently logistically and legally impossible change to the entire structure of the food system, pretty much HAS to contradict itself.

I do want to say, though, that saying the USDA "runs" contradictory campaigns isn't quite accurate. The only campaigns the USDA designs and runs are those related to healthy eating/food pyramid/etc. There are a variety of national organizations to promote a variety of US food products (corn syrup, pork, dairy, beef, etc). As part of their objective to promote US Food products, the USDA makes contributions to this organizations, constituting usually no more than a 10th of the organization's operating budget.

While I dislike that any of the USDA's money is going toward this, again, their hands are pretty tied in terms of actually changing the food industry (they used to have more power in regulating food on a safety basis, but Congress has passed legislation that limited their ability to actually enforce anything even on safety issues, much less on health issues), and the objectives they are tasked with are pretty much in opposition to one another, so without changing either the things they can actually influence or their mission statement, I don't know what other way they could approach this to still meet the mission set before them by Congress.

this thing about the 10%, do you have a source? Because in that article it said that they used about 5.some million on some anti obesity campaign, but Dairy Management was I believe around 12 million with their budget.... that seems ...not like 10%

vdander24
11-09-2010, 02:32 AM
I completely agree, but am not surprised that the FDA is pushing cheese. They are responsible to the farmers for promotion as well as any other business might be. Just like The fast food Chains offering "healthy options" for the betterment of the consumers.. Yeah Right!!! They offer healthy options knowing that 99% of the population is going to either ignore the options and get the fries, or they will get the option on TOP of the fries. It is just CYA!

Luckily, part of this journey, is being able to open our eyes and make those choices with our own free will, not just because of advertising. Thanks for the post!

Bac0s
11-09-2010, 08:51 AM
They just a segment on the Today Show about this!

The nutritionist Joy Bauer, and some other guy were on. They said ONE slice of Domino's pizza is equal to a Whopper in terms of fat. They went through several cheesy food items and gave the insanely high calorie and fat counts for each. They highly suggest cheese in moderation, and reduced fat cheese at home.

Trazey34
11-09-2010, 09:31 AM
I think there's "Big Food" just like "Big Oil" and "Big Tobacco". (insert evil genius laugh) That being said, I don't really need anyone to bonk me over the head to convince me that smoking is bad for me so I don't do it. I don't need more convincing to know that I need to conserve energy so I don't waste electricity or gas, and try to keep my consumerism in check and leave a smaller environmental footprint. So by the same token, the Gov't can put all the cheese they want on pizza, I know it's bad for me, they aren't fooling anyone! It doesn't take a genius to know that drinking a glass of skim milk has less calories than a glass of homo milk. There's a nutrition label on EVERYTHING so I can't blame any evil conspiracy for making me fat I'm afraid.

And as for the "humans are the only animal who drink milk after they're weaned" wellllll DUH... we're the only ones capable of such a thing right??? the whole 'opposable thumb' thing LOL Just cuz we're the only ones who do it doesn't automatically make it wrong...

DixC Chix
11-09-2010, 10:32 AM
Lottie63

The USDA budget is about $120M. So, yes 10% is pretty accurate.
Here is the link for budget summary - check out the appendix starting at pg 89.

http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/fy09budsum.pdf

Edited - Doh!! Of course it said Billions not Millions - I have got to get some new glasses!

nelie
11-09-2010, 10:43 AM
And as for the "humans are the only animal who drink milk after they're weaned" wellllll DUH... we're the only ones capable of such a thing right??? the whole 'opposable thumb' thing LOL Just cuz we're the only ones who do it doesn't automatically make it wrong...

Very few humans are actually able to digest milk properly which is why there is lactose intolerance.

Billions of people in the world don't eat/drink dairy so obviously its not a requirement for human life.

rachael
11-09-2010, 10:56 AM
Lots of people can't tolerate peanuts, either, that doesn't mean that they're inherently bad for people.

I don't think it serves much of a purpose to villainize food. Yes, there are foods that are essentially worthless nutritionally and should be avoided most, if not all, of the time. But dairy has protein and calcium and is not nutritionally void. Like all things, it should be eaten in moderation, but it's not a bad food choice. I often eat a piece of cheese as a snack, as it satisfies me and fills me up.

If the government is pushing for pizza places to put more cheese on pizza, that will have to be reflected in the nutritional information, right? It will show that there are more calories and fat per slice. As a consumer, it's your responsibility to know what you are putting in your mouth. And honestly, anyone who thinks that a slice of chain pizza is going to be a healthy, low-fat option probably needs some education.

It sucks, but in the end, it's now been well publicized.

nelie
11-09-2010, 11:06 AM
Lots of people can't tolerate peanuts, either, that doesn't mean that they're inherently bad for people.

I don't think it serves much of a purpose to villainize food. Yes, there are foods that are essentially worthless nutritionally and should be avoided most, if not all, of the time. But dairy has protein and calcium and is not nutritionally void. Like all things, it should be eaten in moderation, but it's not a bad food choice. I often eat a piece of cheese as a snack, as it satisfies me and fills me up.


I think there is a difference between villianizing something and then upholding it as the end all be all for something. The dairy council has done a wonderful job at marketing their products and they start early by subsidizing schools and ensuring milk is part of every school lunch. If you think calcium, you think milk, that is excellent marketing. Of course the net amount of calcium you get from milk is actually less than the label because it takes some calcium to process the protein in dairy. So there are other really good sources of calcium that aren't dairy related, but we don't think of those automatically when we think of calcium. Again, marketing and the USDA backs them up in the marketing.

As I mentioned, billions of people in the world don't eat dairy so obviously humans don't require dairy. Billions of people also properly can't process dairy. If someone wants to eat dairy, that is up to them but I don't think people should say dairy is necessary because it isn't.

Trazey34
11-09-2010, 11:13 AM
I never said it was "necessary", it just is what it is - a choice, out of dozens if not hundreds of choices we make on a weekly basis as to what we're going to eat/drink. Billions of people don't get nearly enough nutrients, billions can't process milk as they've had little/no access or exposure to it. I'm not "pro milk" LOL I don't care if anyone drinks it or not, I'm just saying it's not inherently a BAD FOOD CHOICE just because a portion of the population can't eat it.

And as for advertising - it's just that - advertising. No better or worse than anyone else trying to sell something, it's naive to think the gov't would be exempt from dirty tricks to sell their product. Buyer beware. Read labels. Make your choices. It's that simple.

rachael
11-09-2010, 11:39 AM
I never said it was necessary, either. However, I think this "billions and billions" argument is not really proving anything. Nobody said that dairy is "necessary for human life." You can say that ANY food is not necessary for human life. There are things that we get out of dairy that ARE essential from human life. Some people opt to get those things from other sources, but that does not invalidate the fact that dairy also provides those things.

And yes, the USDA does a great job marketing milk. Hostess does a great job marketing Twinkies. Whether it's the government (in an attempt to increase revenue for farmers) or a private corporation marketing something, it doesn't change the fact that it's still your job to pay attention to what you eat. It's annoying that the government does it, but politics is just one big commercial anyway. Why would that be different from food?

nelie
11-09-2010, 11:45 AM
Trazey - I wasn't trying to say you said it was necessary but as someone who doesn't eat dairy, I have heard people say such things but again it is excellent marketing. I can understand if someone says humans are the only animals that don't drink milk as a reason that they don't personally. We aren't really designed for it although some people have developed the enzymes through thousands of years, namely northern Europeans and their ancestors. Others may have issues and just deal with them. Personally, I never thought I was lactose intolerant until I gave up dairy but I felt a lot better after I did.

mandalinn82
11-09-2010, 01:05 PM
My 10% figure came from a general survey of the amount the USDA contributes (from a USDA total budget of 133 billion) to ag promotion boards annually, as compared to the annual budget of those organizations. (BTW, you can look at the annual USDA budget - fascinating stuff - here: http://www.obpa.usda.gov/budsum/FY10budsum.pdf). Even in the example in the NYT article, the Dairy folks have an annual budget of 140 million, 5 million of which comes from the USDA, the remainder of which comes from the dairy farmers "check off" programs.

Mostly my objection was to saying the USDA was "running" those programs, when it was contributing 5 or so million to budgets of those individual councils that run from 50-150 million dollars annually. The USDA, by the way, gives similar amounts (in the 5 million range) to support farmer's markets and organics. It isn't running THOSE boards, either, though - just adding money into a pot that is mostly filled by the farmers associated with those crops/products.

ShrinkinSue
11-11-2010, 04:05 PM
The government already has too much power, we must stop depending on the govt for everything, I believe that we all must take responsibility, yes there are many who don't have the best choices available all the time but there are still choices out there, how about gardening? now theres a great healthy alternative for school lunches and guess what? most kids absolutely love it - let them be involved in the planting and choices, I