Recently the USDA put out a new healthy eating initiative. I’m not sure if it was designed to boost the economy or to try to educate Americans about healthy eating. First of all, milk is not a foundation for nutrition. It is not a food group. There are a lot of things that we do to milk to make many products but it’s all still milk and there is no health benefit in milk that cannot be gained from some other source. The USDA could have put something like calcium on the chart like they did with protein, but protein is not a category of food it’s a nutrient. Most Americans have been trained to read that as MEAT. I wonder if the meat industries feel slighted.
Have you ever noticed that USDA stands for the United States Department of Agriculture. What are they putting out food guidelines for? I’d think it would be the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or perhaps the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)? I’m sure the dairy farmers of this country appreciate being included in what is for them free advertising.
If we must have something from our government to tell us how to eat here is a real attempt that I recommend, done by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard. It’s not perfect and no simple advertisement is going to be complete, but it is much better.
I don’t think that we have to have an ad campaign to eat healthy. The USDA spent about $2 million on this campaign development. That doesn’t compare to the billions spent each year by food companies just to target youth. We will never out advertise sweets, and true education must be done one person at a time. Telling the masses of the United States to “eat your peas” won’t work for the budget or the diet. But one doctor at a time developing a relationship with their patients and taking the time to educate and encourage them does make a change.
One last question…where’s the water?