New Food Guidelines and Politics

Yeah, I’m a bit off the beaten path today. But it’s still something that I think needs to be said…

New food guidelines have been released by the United States Department of Agriculture. You can view them yourself here. If you have Adobe Reader, you can read the consumer brochure here.

The Food Pyramid is nowhere to be seen, although Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said her department was still discussing whether to continue using the pyramid format. It’s replaced by a page that doesn’t list food in a hierarchical format. The reason for that?

If you’ve read Food Politics by Marion Nestle, you’ll know why this occured. The process in which these standards are developed are vetted heavily by corporations and lobby groups. If a standard says “Eat less beef” (which is kind of a good thing), the beef industry tends to get a little upset. Hence the lobbying to make beef seem less bad than say…vegetables.
So when you hear the news about this in the coming days, keep in mind the process it took to create this.

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