Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear

August 9, 2019

Happy Birthday Smokey Bear

“Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service’s symbol of fire prevention, turns 75 on Friday. Smokey is the longest-running public service ad campaign, first appearing on a poster on Aug. 9, 1944.”

— “Careful With Those Birthday Candles, Smokey: Beloved Bear Turns 75,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

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Government Cheese

May 24, 2019

Andrew Novakovic, Cornell University:

“People talk about food assistance programs as if they were created to help poor people out. Yes that’s true, but almost all of the major food assistance programs were ideas that came from agriculture because we had too much of something.”

Surprisingly, this CNBC video misses two songs named “Government Cheese,” one by Keb’ Mo’ and the first, a less sympathetic take by The Rainmakers:

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Food Will Win the War

March 2, 2019

“Food Will Win the War,” a Walt Disney Studios production for the USDA, 1942. Directed by Hamilton Luske, and narrated by Fred Shields. This WWII theatrical cartoon was for the home front, but Disney produced or contributed to hundreds of military training and propaganda films during World War II.

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Hey Kids, Crappy School Lunches Are Back!

May 2, 2017

Hey Kids, Crappy School Lunches Are Back!
On Monday, new Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue got right behind the plow to solve America’s most pressing food problem, the deadly plague of healthy school lunches. The Trump administration has decided that kids should eat the traditional salty slop of their obese, constipated seniors. Chocolate milk is back! Veggies? Gone. Whole grains? Gone. Take that, Michelle Obama!

Official USDA press release: “Ag Secretary Perdue Moves to Make School Meals Great Again.”

More:

“The Trump administration’s tone deaf move on school lunches,” Julia Belluz, Vox

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Image (“Caution: School Lunch”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Uncle Sam Wants You — To Drink More Milk

September 19, 2016

Got Milk? Why?

“New evidence also shows that drinking lots of milk doesn’t protect against bone fractures and may be linked to certain types of cancer. And all the good stuff in milk — calcium, potassium, and protein — can be found in greater amounts in foods like broccoli, kale, and black beans.

 But these foods are at a disadvantage when it comes to competing against dairy. They don’t have trade groups giving millions to members of Congress and lobbying for influence over the nation’s nutrition policy.”
— “How big government helps big dairy sell milk,” Liz Scheltens and Gina Barton, Vox

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Government Cheese

August 25, 2016

Government Cheese

There’s a cheese glut in America. Cheese inventories are higher than they’re been in over 30 years, while families go hungry. Even a third of those on food stamps need to visit food banks.

The USDA is trying for a twofer by buying $20 million in surplus cheese — 11 million pounds — and distributing it to food banks. While you might question the wisdom of paying tax dollars to support corporate dairy operations, surely no one can object to the government helping food banks feed the hungry, right?

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

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

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