Archive for the ‘USDA’ Category

How Americans Really Eat

January 26, 2016

How Americans Really Eat

The U.S. Government recently released new Dietary Guidelines. Since USDA also encourages consumer demand for beef, the guidelines don’t recommend avoiding red meat even though it’s a health risk. Why not? Beef producers have political clout, and anyway we all love our burgers.

Based on these lofty principles, we’ve developed “Guidelines on How Americans Really Eat Now” (above). Add an RC Cola or a PBR and you have a complete family meal.

And food processing creates millions of jobs too, amiright? Pass the Doritos, bro.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Happy Birthday Smokey Bear

August 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear

Smokey Bear is 70 years old today. Careful with his cake — that’s a lot of candles.

The old geezer has kept up, though, so you can send him best wishes through Facebook,  Instagram, or Twitter.

More:

“Smokey Bear to celebrate 70th birthday, with no plans on retiring,” Emily Wickwire NBC Today

 “Smokey Bear, Iconic Symbol of Wildfire Prevention, Still Going Strong at 70,” Kathryn Sosbe, USDA blog

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-jJ0

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here.Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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US Government: ‘Eat More Pizza!’

February 17, 2014

US Government: 'Eat More Pizza!'

13 percent of Americans eat pizza each day (no, not the same 13 percent …). That’s a lot of people and lots of calories, saturated fat, and sodium, too.

And Uncle Sam helps. The USDA runs a “dairy checkoff program” though small assessments on milk sales to processors, raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually. The funds are turned over to Dairy Management, Inc. (DMI) to encourage public demand for dairy products. U.S. fluid milk consumption is down, but cheese eating is way up, and 25 percent of that cheese is melted on pizza.  DMI has a partnership with Domino’s Pizza, America’s 2nd largest retailer of pizza-like objects, and paid Domino’s $35 million over the past 3 years to develop and market cheesier pies.

Read about it here:

“How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza,” Brad Plumer, Washington Post blog

“USDA reports on pizza consumption and on dairy checkoff program initiatives to increase pizza demand,” Park Wilde, US Food Policy blog

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GOP Food Fight: ‘Starve the Poor’

July 29, 2013

GOP Food Fight: 'Starve the Poor'

Congressional Republicans want to starve food stamp deadbeats while rewarding hard-working American farmers with a Farm Bill. That’s a noble story, but it has a few holes in it. Most “farmer” recipients of those rewards are Agribiz millionaires, and the ‘help’ they get is ‘insurance’ for artificially high prices and big profits. And those SNAP ‘deadbeats’? Most are elderly, children, or disabled; the rest are the working poor who need help to get adequate nutrition because GOP politicians routinely defeat Living Wage bills.  Further irony: Many of those low-wage workers are in the food industry. These facts don’t alter Republican plans to bring back the Victorian workhouse.

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Whoa, Nelly: Fresh Horsemeat.

July 3, 2013

Whoa, Nelly: Fresh Hosemeat.
The USDA is poised to allow a New Mexico slaughterhouse to butcher horses. The Administration doesn’t want to, but the horsemeat ban has expired, and an extension requires action by our do-nothing Congress. Goodbye, Old Paint.

More:

“Six-Year Ban on Horse Slaughter to End as U.S. Approves Plant,” Amanda J. Crawford and Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg News

“How to cook your horse: Equine recipes from around Europe,” Paul Ames, GlobalPost

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gWR

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length

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Food Fight @ Busboys & Poets February 13th

February 7, 2012

Food Fight @ Busboys & Poets February 13th

February 13, 2012 6:30 pm
Busboys & Poets Bookstore
2021 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 387-POET

Daniel Imhoff will discuss and sign Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill in the Langston Room at B&P. Free and open to all.

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M-m-m-m, Horsemeat!

December 2, 2011

M-m-m-m, Horsemeat!

It took special efforts to get the U.S. government to fund food safety measures to prevent fatal food poisoning, but another food inspection program just galloped through Congress. Legislators passed a bill allowing federal government inspection of horsemeat for human consumption. Hi Yo Silver! Pony slaughterhouses ride again.

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Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

November 16, 2011

Congress Reaps Pizza Harvest

Tuesday, by act of Congress, pizza was declared a vegetable. The Spending Bill before our elected officials contained an Agriculture Department provision recognizing that school kids are dangerously obese, and that subsidizing school lunches of frozen pizza and french fries is unwise and unhealthy. The Congressional response: a slice of pizza = a serving of vegetables.

The American Frozen Food Institute spent over $5 million convincing Congress to protect their juicy $11 billion annual school lunch harvest from the pestilence of nutritional common sense, and they prevailed. Result: kids will still eat government-subsidized carbs, fat, and salt, and Big Food will get fatter, too.

In other farm news, Monsanto announced that Roundup-Ready Pizza Seeds will be available in time for spring planting, and February pizza crop futures rose at the Chicago Board of Trade after predictions of  increased Super Bowl party demand.

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Omnivore Author for Agriculture Secretary?

November 17, 2008

Omnivore Author for Agriculture Secretary?

As if candidate Obama wasn’t served enough grief with his arugula during the campaign, his supporters are now petitioning President-elect Obama to appoint Berkeley journalism professor Michael Pollan as Secretary of Agriculture. A celebrated nature writer, author of the award-winning The Omnivore’s Dilemma and current bestseller In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, foodie demigod Pollan recently wrote to Mr. Obama about food policy, and shared the letter with a few friends via the New York Times Magazine.

A talented, insightful writer, Mr. Pollan might be a valuable advisor for more rational food policy, but his appointment as Agriculture Secretary is simply not on the table.

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COOL Loophole

October 2, 2008

COOL Loophole

You lettuce now has a “Country of Origin Label.” So does your bread and cheese. The canned “mystery meat” on your sandwich? Still a mystery.

Regulations mandating retail country-of-origin food labeling are in effect as of last Tuesday, but canned meat is exempt from the requirements. So are mixed vegetables and roasted peanuts. Food packers say these products include foods from so many countries that labelling would pose an undue hardship.

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