Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Food | Government

April 19, 2005

Mmmm...Pointy

The government combines its twin loves of color-coded systems and unnecessary overhauls of simple programs to bring you the new and improved food pyramid.

Aaron Zamost

food pyramids
Out with the old, ordered pyramid (top), and in with the chaotic new.


Government bureaucracy and over-management has finally made its way to the fruit-and-vegetables group. Today the government eliminated the food pyramid of your youth (you know, the one with the five major food groups and how many servings you should have of each), and replaced it with 12 separate and distinct "triangle-shaped" guides. This from the same administration that brought you 2002's color-coded Homeland Security threat-level spectrum (DHS), and now incorporates implanted microchips and biometric thumb-printing into United States immigration procedure.

One problem with the old food and diet system, according to Eric Hentges, director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, was that it was too confusing. "Who knows what a serving is?" Hentges told the AP. "It's whatever I put on my plate." Well put, Mr. Hentges, because now it's certainly less confusing for an eight-year-old child to follow new recommendations like "keep sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day" from the 70-page dietary guidelines also released today with the 12-variable food pyramids. (Make your own pyramid at MyPyramid.gov.)

Some suggestions for new ways to unnecessarily complicate other government programs:

1. Judicial nominees will be forced to enroll in a farm system, where young judicial stars will prepare for "The Show" in a four-tiered confederation based on experience: Rookie level (judicial activists), Class A (morally corrupt feeding-tube removers), Class AA (pastel versions of conservatives), Class AAA (strict constructionists).

2. Instead of distributing food stamps based on factors such as nutrition and economic need, the Department of Agriculture will administer a new faith-based food-stamp program, in which coupons will be provided based on a 10-point sliding scale, signifying how strongly you support a culture of life.

3. Privatize Social Security.

—David Goldenberg contributed to this article.

Aaron Zamost

Aaron Zamost has been writing for Gelf since 2005.







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Comments

- Food
- posted on Apr 20, 05
Danny Howard

Well, at least the citizenry can make up for government complications by oversimplifying complex things and pointless whining.

Seriously, I mean the servings stuff was BS. It was like 3 servings of fruit per day and 6 servings of vegetables? So, if that's "what you put on your plate" you need to eat ten plates a day of fruits and vegetables. Right? That does not make sense.

Whee, making fun of the government is fun! Offering criticism that is at all useful, or even vaguely entertyaining ... much more difficult? Please try again.

Thanks,
-danny

- Food
- posted on Apr 20, 05
Aaron Zamost

In response to the comment below:

It's hard to take seriously a food pyramid overhaul that (1) directs $2.5 million of its budget to Porter Novelli for a public relations bonanza, this the same Porter Novelli that McDonald's employs to positively spin obesity suits and other negative publicity; (2) permits Washington lobbyists from groups like Campbell's Soup Co. to suggest that processed foods be given better standing in the current pyramid; (3) comes from an administration that frequently misrepresents science for political means, like when policy higher-ups ordered words like "significant" and "severe" removed from an environmental impact statement discussing the destructive nature of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia.

If government isn't going to take its job seriously, why write serious criticism?

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Article by Aaron Zamost

Aaron Zamost has been writing for Gelf since 2005.

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