Our tax dollars at mealtime

Ethel C. Fenig
Our ever helpful, ever more intrusive, ever more expensive government...


[R]egulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.

More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, "Enjoy your food, but eat less."

as reported in the New York Times. As Homer Simpson and teens across America would say "Duh!"

While the recommendations may seem obvious, it is nonetheless considered major progress for federal regulators, who have long skirted the issue, wary of the powerful food lobby. (The 112-page report even subtly suggests that people eat less pizza and dessert.)

If the government suggests it, especially "subtly", can a law imposing it be far behind?

"For them to have said ‘eat less' is really new. Who would have thought?" said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "We should have been saying ‘eat less' for a decade."

Well, "we" and "they" have. And people will do what people want to do--imagine that!--until the dreaded "they" steps in, all for your own good of course. Wootan continued

"Before, the dietary guidelines said, ‘Eat more fruits and vegetables,' but that could mean add a slice of tomato to your hamburger," she said.

Good idea! Add a lettuce leaf too, preferably dark green. Never would have thought of that without the government.

Similarly, the guidelines' advice to reduce portion size could put pressure on restaurants, many of which continue to serve portions so large that they could easily serve two people under the government's guidelines.

So now the government wants to regulate portion size in restaurants because restaurant owners are giving the people too much?

The guidelines suggest making fruits and vegetables cover half of the plate at a meal, choosing fat-free and low-fat dairy products and eating more whole grains and seafood.

(snip)

Mr. Schumacher, now executive vice president of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit group that promotes access to healthy foods, said the government needed to help consumers, particularly those on food stamps, get access to fruits, vegetables and other foods recommended in the guidelines.

But...but...how will consumers, especially the food stamp users, get fruits and vegetables in the winter unless imported from far away which will upset the sustainable, delicate planet folks?

How did our ancestors survive without the government telling them what and how to eat?


Our ever helpful, ever more intrusive, ever more expensive government...


[R]egulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.

More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, "Enjoy your food, but eat less."

as reported in the New York Times. As Homer Simpson and teens across America would say "Duh!"

While the recommendations may seem obvious, it is nonetheless considered major progress for federal regulators, who have long skirted the issue, wary of the powerful food lobby. (The 112-page report even subtly suggests that people eat less pizza and dessert.)

If the government suggests it, especially "subtly", can a law imposing it be far behind?

"For them to have said ‘eat less' is really new. Who would have thought?" said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "We should have been saying ‘eat less' for a decade."

Well, "we" and "they" have. And people will do what people want to do--imagine that!--until the dreaded "they" steps in, all for your own good of course. Wootan continued

"Before, the dietary guidelines said, ‘Eat more fruits and vegetables,' but that could mean add a slice of tomato to your hamburger," she said.

Good idea! Add a lettuce leaf too, preferably dark green. Never would have thought of that without the government.

Similarly, the guidelines' advice to reduce portion size could put pressure on restaurants, many of which continue to serve portions so large that they could easily serve two people under the government's guidelines.

So now the government wants to regulate portion size in restaurants because restaurant owners are giving the people too much?

The guidelines suggest making fruits and vegetables cover half of the plate at a meal, choosing fat-free and low-fat dairy products and eating more whole grains and seafood.

(snip)

Mr. Schumacher, now executive vice president of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit group that promotes access to healthy foods, said the government needed to help consumers, particularly those on food stamps, get access to fruits, vegetables and other foods recommended in the guidelines.

But...but...how will consumers, especially the food stamp users, get fruits and vegetables in the winter unless imported from far away which will upset the sustainable, delicate planet folks?

How did our ancestors survive without the government telling them what and how to eat?