Saturday, October 23, 2010

Now POTATOES are incorrect!

The food Fascism just grows like a cancer

Potato growers are fighting back against efforts to ban or limit potatoes in federal child nutrition programs, arguing the tuber is loaded with potassium and vitamin C and shouldn't be considered junk food. One Washington man is so exasperated by the proposals that he's in the midst of a 60-day, all potato diet to demonstrate that potatoes are nutritious.

"We're just really concerned that this is a misconception to the public that potatoes aren't healthy," said Chris Voigt, head of the Washington Potato Commission. "The potato isn't the scourge of the earth. It's nutrition."

Healthy food advocates said they're not anti-potato, but they think children need a greater variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to fight a tripling of child obesity rates in the past 30 years.

"The potato is the most common vegetable," said Diane Pratt-Heavner, spokeswoman for the School Nutrition Association. "My impression is that the goal is to increase the amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. I don't believe anyone is specifically attacking the potato."

With that in mind, the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, recommended that the U.S. Department of Agriculture stop participants of the federal Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC, from buying potatoes with federal dollars. The institute also called for the USDA-backed school lunch program to limit use of potatoes.

Under an interim rule, the USDA agreed to bar WIC participants from buying potatoes with their federal dollars. Potatoes are the only vegetable not allowed. Next year, the agency will roll out a final rule on the WIC program, which last year served 9.3 million children and pregnant and breast-feeding women considered at risk for malnutrition.

The WIC program is a supplemental food program, and the determination was made that consumption of white potatoes was already adequate, said Christine Stencel, spokeswoman for the Institute of Medicine. "The recommendation was made to encourage consumption of other fruits and vegetables," she said.

Jean Daniel, spokeswoman for USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, said the WIC program was updated for the first time in 30 years after a study showed more consumption of leafy greens and other veggies was needed.

The USDA is expected to release changes to the federal school lunch program by the end of the year. The program subsidizes lunch and breakfast for nearly 32 million needy kids in most public schools and many private ones, and those schools must follow guidelines on what they serve.

Whatever the USDA decides, potatoes won't disappear from school lunches, although they might become less common, Daniel said,
"It's an opportunity to make healthy eating choices as varied as possible, and it's a learning lesson for children about how to put a plate together that's healthy and balanced," she said.

The Institute of Medicine made its school lunch recommendation late last year after determining that standards for the federal lunch program don't match up with the government's own dietary guidelines, calling for lots of fresh fruits and veggies and more whole grains.

This hardly marks the first time that potato growers have felt targeted. Low-carb diets, such as Atkins and South Beach, prompted the U.S. Potato Board to allocate $4.4 million for an 18-month public relations campaign in 2004 to stress the nutrition factor in potatoes.

Growers note that potatoes have more potassium than bananas, and that one serving provides roughly 45 percent of the daily recommended value for vitamin C. They also offer some fiber and other minerals and vitamins.


Please Pass the Salt

On many American dinner tables sits a salt shaker. And in many American meals sits a fine amount of salt. Whether it is food from a restaurant, processed food or canned, salt is an integral ingredient.

The government has taken note of this phenomenon. And what used to be warnings by medical professionals saying Americans are consuming too much salt, are evolving into something more.

The federal government has noticed the weight gained by the American people and feels entitled to fix it. And with the passage of ObamaCare, the government is well on its way to fulfilling its mission. “The government has no business interfering with the diets of Americans,” says Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG). “It also has no authority to do so.”

The idea of the government restricting America’s salt intake might sound funny and a bit ridiculous, but it is a very plausible and serious proposal. In fact, what states like New York have already made into laws regarding its nutritional guidelines, can be found in ObamaCare as well.

New York passed legislation for restaurant chains forcing many of them to post calorie information on menu boards for consumers, and even ruled that some cities have to have nutritional information posted directly on the menus.

A similar mandate was passed in ObamaCare: a federal-menu labeling law. This new law will affect restaurants with 20 or more locations by forcing them to put nutritional information for menu items on the menus themselves, menu boards and even drive-thrus. This law also requires vending machine owners to comply by the same rules.

New York has also banned the use of all artificial trans fat in restaurant foods. Of all the 50 states New York has continuously been the lab rat of sorts for new nutrition-based regulations. Why is this important?

Thomas Frieden, now the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), used to be the head of New York City’s Health Department.

If you haven’t picked up on it already, this Administration is full of surprises and hidden agendas — though this one may not remain hidden for much longer.

Obama knows the odds of Republicans taking over the House and possibly the Senate are pretty good. How then will his radical new diet restrictions come to pass? Easily.

With the use of Executive Orders and regulations, Obama doesn’t need the approval of Congress. He just needs other departments of the federal government, like the CDC, to take his plan as their own.

In an October 2010 press release by the CDC, an announcement was made that five states and communities across the country will receive a total of $1.9 million for sodium reduction efforts.

It looks like Frieden isn’t wasting any time promoting how good America will be with less salt intake. The recipients of his grant: California, Shasta County and Los Angeles; Kansas, Shawnee County; and New York, New York City and Broome and Schenectady counties.

Furthermore, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report in April encouraging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to set standards for salt added to prepared meals and processed foods. Though the FDA has not come out with a plan on how to attack salt intake in America, it is being considered. This should be of great concern to every American.

And to one particular American it is. Charles, who refers to himself as the Chief Salt Patriot, launched a grassroots effort to keep the government out of America’s eating habits. “When the government started talking about regulating salt, that was it. That was the last straw for me,” says Charles of Salt Patriots. “I thought this was a good way for me to take action.”

Charles has even designed buttons and salt shakers sold on his website to endorse his cause. “I’m scared of these laws,” he says. “They are numerous and ridiculous, but they’re real. The government is there to protect the Constitution, that’s all. Not to control our diets.”

ALG’s Wilson agrees and adds, “The Nanny State approach this government is willing to take shows how far they are willing to go to regulate every aspect of individual Americans’ lives — from cradle to grave. We need to keep the government out of the kitchen.”

If not stopped, this fight could land itself at your dinner table. One of the most basic and readily available ingredients would be portioned by the government. Possibly similar to how England withheld salt to American rebels during the Revolutionary War in an effort to make them weak.

But not to worry, the federal government promises to have America’s best interests in mind. In the meantime, hold onto your salt shaker and be careful who you pass it to.


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