Subsidies vs. Recommendations

Talk is cheap. Hypocrisy is even cheaper. So when I came across the subsidies that USDA allocates for each food group, the jarring contradictions that exist within the department were disturbing. It's the same agency that preaches healthy eating that gives more than half of its subsidies to the food that most Americans over-consume. It also happens that this food is one of the culprits for heart disease- an increasingly expensive illness for both the government and its people. It would be a laughable matter if it wasn't such a serious issue.

Current MyPyramid daily consumption                               Contrasted with USDA's current
recommendations are as follows:                                              allocations for subsidies:
Grains: 6 oz.                                                                           Grains: 18%
    Vegetables: 2.5 cups                                                      Vegetables AND Fruits: 9.8%
                Fruits: 2 cups                                                                 Dairy (non-butter): 11.4%
            Milk: 3 cups                                                                       Fats and oils: 6.2
Meat & Beans: 5.5 oz                                                          Meat: 54.7%

To read more on this matter, visit FoodPolitics.com (For PDF of GAP analysis, click here)

Image credit: fns.usda.gov


delwin said...

It's very interesting the way our government do things sometimes.

Terry said...

It's real interesting that people with EBT cards...food stamp program...are getting free food yet still are big customers at fast food and junk food places. I talked to a worker at KFC and he sees lots of them. The state should simply ban purchase with an EBT card food at certain "restaurants". Better yet, make them go to a place that gives them an allotment of food that is healthy. Could encourage some to actually look for a job if they don't like it. The program should just keep you alive, not fat and happy.

Elizabeth said...

@ Terry: Most farmers markets now actually accept EBT cards. It would be Utopian if we can control where EBT card users can purchase food, but the more important issue should be educating consumers on making their own healthy choices. The sad reality is that people who need food assistance are likely to be drawn to food that will fill them up (i.e. foods with the most calories per dollar).

Rosa said...

I completely get your concern with the use of EBT cards. However, looking at the percentages for allocation of food subsidies,alone, does not shock me. The government provides these social services and leaves consumers with the personal choice/responsibility of using them wisely. Health education is definitely key.

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