Guess the USDA doesn’t like contrarian points of view left in comments on their blog

by Skip

USDA: Americans aren’t doing what they’re told

Well, that was the headline of a post over at the Washington Examiner.  Any combination of a Federal agency and words intimating that our Overlords ain’t happy with what their subjects are doing with “their” suggestions ABSOLUTELY gets my attention:

When Americans go to the grocery store, they rarely do what they are told by federal nutrition guidelines, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Many of our diets aren’t what they should be,” Richard Volpe, part of the USDA’s Economic Research Service, wrote today. “Americans eat fewer fruits and vegetables than Federal nutrition guidance recommends, and we over-consume fats, added sugars, and refined grains.”

So I went on over to read the whole thing.  I learned that they can be snippy (emphasis mine), so in the end, I was snippy back:

Many of our diets aren’t what they should be. Americans eat fewer fruits and vegetables than Federal nutrition guidance recommends, and we over-consume fats, added sugars, and refined grains. Health professionals warn us that the less-healthful food choices are showing up on our waistlines and in our health, contributing to increasing cases of overweight and obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Knowing how far we stray from good dietary patterns, and whether the diets of certain segments of the population are more misaligned, can help in designing more effective programs and consumer education.

Ah yes, the “experts” spout forth about our “misalignment”.  But what elicited the guaffaw was ” can help in designing more effective programs and consumer education”.  Er, ‘scuse me?  You guys have been doing this fer, what a couple / three decades now, and you are either just figuring this out OR are still kvetching that “we aren’t listening to those that know better”?  But, they went through the study (Assessing the Healthfulness of Consumers’ Grocery Purchases)

Consumer spending came close to matching USDA recommendations for only 1 of the 23 food categories—potatoes—under-spending on the other vegetable categories. For example, households spent an average of only 0.5 percent of their food budgets during 1998-2006 on dark green vegetables compared with the recommended 7 percent. Households also under-spent on whole grains, whole fruit, lower-fat dairy, nuts, poultry, and fish, while they over-spent on other foods including refined grains, fruit juices, regular dairy products, and meats. Refined grains, for example—a category that includes non-whole grain crackers, cookies, breads, and pasta—accounted for 17 percent of the spending; the USDA spending guidelines recommend 5 percent.

There was some improvement between 1998 and 2006 in the healthfulness of the average food shopping basket. Households shifted from refined grains toward whole grains, but allocated less of their food budgets to fruits and vegetables and more to packaged and processed foods and beverages.

So, all that time to figure out what is generally commonsense to must of us – we buy what we want versus acting like kids and doing what we’re told.  I do wonder how much of our tax money was spent to do this. So, I left this as a Reply (and when I went back this evening, there was a single Reply listed):

So, let me see if I have this straight: we spend billions of dollars funding your department to produce reports that complain that we citizens ignore your dietary guidelines.

Do you think that perhaps nobody wants to listen, or cares what your reports and regulations say? Can we save some of the annual $1.2 Trillion deficit by, oh I dunno, not spending money on Federal stuff that people don’t want?

And yes, my Reply is not the one that is posted.  I guess that sarcasm doesn’t go over too well with bureaucrats.  Well, being troubled that a Department of the US Federal Government has decided that this:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You know, I ought to ask them – in no uncertain terms….heh!  They even have a site for that!  Some of this might be a bit harder; for instance their  “Our Performance” and “Policies & Links” links go to a “NOT FOUND” page (smirk).

Update: You know, this is a Department that gets BILLIONS of bucks to run itself – and what I am seeing is that they can’t even keep a simple blog straight (go ahead, start clicking)???  So we are supposed to trust our Government with our healthcare IT?

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