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USDA Is Contrdicting Its Food Pyramid Advice

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posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 09:54 AM
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A troubling disparity highlighted the awkward truth about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA): What it advises people to eat to stay healthy does not exactly match what it pays farmers to grow ... to say the least.

For starters, the only reference to corn on the USDA's new food pyramid is a graphic of a bright-yellow ear of corn amid a sea of other vegetables; soybeans are not mentioned at all. Yet U.S. farmers receive $15 billion in subsidies to grow corn and soybeans that are largely used to feed livestock (with harmful chemicals and antibiotics often added).

What's worse, corn and soybeans are used to make artificial sweeteners and partially hydrogenated oils -- the very ingredients the food pyramid urges Americans to avoid. Many tout soy as a health food, despite evidence that it is not. Most soy is grown for its uses in livestock feed and in the hydrogenated fats used in making processed foods.

Comparatively so, fruit and vegetable farmers receive no subsidies whatsoever, though whole foods are supposed to make up the largest part of Americans' diets, per the pyramid's recommendations.

According to a former U.S. Congressman, farm policy has clearly been developed with little regard for the diets and health of Americans and instead is the result of a Depression-era program that was supposed to give temporary relief for low commodity prices. He further explained that those who attend hearings on domestic farm policies are largely lobbyists who protect the interests of a handful of crops, including: Corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, sugar and cotton.

Lobbying from the food industry has historically influenced the agency's nutrition advice -- the composition of the new pyramid included.

Moreover, the alleged conflict between the agency's role in promoting both nutrition and agriculture even prompted former Sen. Peter Fitzgerald to compare the USDA, when it comes to farm subsidies, to a fox guarding the henhouse.

It's unfortunate that the government doesn't place the same emphasis on your health as it does on capitulating to corporate conflict of interest.


[edit on 10-6-2005 by jupiter869]




posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 10:48 AM
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The Food Pyramid, The New Food Pyramid, The Four Food Groups, and the Hexadecimal-whatever-the-heck-of-tomorrow has remained largely unchanged from it's original creation. There still are essentially 4 food groups: Meat, Dairy, Fruits/Vegetables, and Cereal Grains. Every few years this guide is changed around to emphasize different serving amounts, add extra sections to cover things like sweets and fats, push it over on it's side to make it more user friendly, blah blah blah. The food guides, whichever ones you choose throughout the long history ( iml.jou.ufl.edu... ), all use these same 4 basic food groups to describe the majority of the food that should be consumed in a day. The simplest message is that you should consume a balanced variety of these basic food groups each day. They can play with the numbers all they want, and use different health concerns of the day (obesity, for example, causing the move towards more whole grains), however the general basics have remained unchanged. Humans must have Protein, Carbohydrates, Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, and whatever else to survive. The only function of the entire nutritional community is to debate how much of this and how often of that. But honestly, who eats the numbers of servings suggested in the food pyramid? 6-8 servings of fruits/vegetbles? 3-4 servings of protiens? whatever the numbers are, most people would have to eat all day to compete with the guidelines.

Next, onto the Corn and Soybeans. The subsidies provided to farmers for these products are because these two products, along with fruits, make up the largest portions of the US Agricultural Exportation. It is not so much a USDA support of Food Pyramid Contrary thought, rather it is USDA support of our economic export market.



posted on Jun, 10 2005 @ 04:19 PM
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Our farmers are having a time growing crops that actually provide them with any kind of an income. It depends on the area that they live in to what they can grow because you can't basically go into Kentucky for example and grow huge Orange groves like you can in Florida. I guess basically what i'm saying is that yes they are contradicting themselves because they have to. Farming is a way of life and in order to protect that way of life the government has to pay these farmers to produce these crops whether it is high on the food pyramid or not.

I have knowledge of the USDA and I was also raised on a huge farm and seeing both sides of the argument was hard for me because growing up I thought the government wasn't doing enough for farmers, but now that I know more about the agency I see that they are doing everything they can do to protect their way of life.

Corn has many valuable uses that are not only food related. So, let's not jump on the government too much for what we as a society choose to consume.




[edit on 10-6-2005 by zenlover28]


MBF

posted on Jun, 11 2005 @ 12:20 AM
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Originally posted by zenlover28

I have knowledge of the USDA and I was also raised on a huge farm and seeing both sides of the argument was hard for me because growing up I thought the government wasn't doing enough for farmers, but now that I know more about the agency I see that they are doing everything they can do to protect their way of life.
[edit on 10-6-2005 by zenlover28]


I disagree with your statement that they are doing everything they can to protect their way of life. They have tried to foreclose on me two times claiming that I owed them money on a loan which was false. I paid the loan off early and overpaid it by about $7500. At a hearing, my lawyer was not allowed to enter my checks as evidence that I had paid the loan. I was farming about 1000 acres before they started giving me trouble and today I farm about 140 acres. They have financially destroyed me. The man that gave me the trouble is a known drug dealer and they WILL NOT do anything about him. After many meetings and hearings with them all that I have got them to do is admit that I had paid off the loan.


I agree with all of your other statements.

[edit on 11-6-2005 by MBF]



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 12:29 AM
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im going to be upfront i know nada about the usda and the plight of the american farmer. although i feel the american farmer is getting shafted. my question is regarding the statement in the article about soy being bad for us. why i thought tofu was one of the only foods that contained the full 8 amino acids. another way to get them is beans with rice. anyway am i wrong i recently moved to beijing china and i consume a large amount of tofu daily. any one know if i should just eat beef hahahha



posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 10:14 AM
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I am sorry to hear this MBF. However, I am having trouble understanding exactly what it is you are saying. If you overpaid your loan there should be a record of this? Why was it not allowed to be entered by your lawyer? I think i'd find me a new lawyer.

I do not mean to be undermining the situation at all, but I just don't understand what you are saying because i've never heard of something like this happening.


MBF

posted on Jun, 15 2005 @ 11:47 PM
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Originally posted by zenlover28
I am sorry to hear this MBF. However, I am having trouble understanding exactly what it is you are saying. If you overpaid your loan there should be a record of this? Why was it not allowed to be entered by your lawyer? I think i'd find me a new lawyer.

I do not mean to be undermining the situation at all, but I just don't understand what you are saying because i've never heard of something like this happening.


If you are having trouble trying to understand why I couldn't show that I had already repaid the loan, how do you think I felt standing there with my canceled checks jumping up and down screaming that I had repaid the loan and they wouldn't even let me prove it. My lawyer was a good one but ALL the lawyers that I have had told me before we went into the hearings that my case was good and I was in the right but don't expect to win the hearing because these things are biased against the farmer. One of my last lawyers on this case told me that he had a copy of the record of a hearing officer pulled that he went against and the hearing officer had had the job for about 10 years and had ruled in the favor of a farmer only one time. You can't make me believe that every farmer that went before that hearing officer for ten years was in the wrong except one.

You can't get these cases into a regular court. They have to go through the USDA only and they are not going to rule against themselves. They even claimed that I had filed for bankruptcy and said that they had the paperwork to prove it, but I never have and they never produced any paperwork to prove it.

The man that was giving me the problem has been arrested several times for drug trafficing but they won't do anything about him. One of my lawyers suggested that I have the man investigated because what he did to me was obvious and was wrong and I did. Guess what. He was investigated by the USDA department of inspector general. They investigated him about as much as you have and told me they would take no further action in this case.

These fools even tried to foreclose on me two times claiming that I owed them money when I didn't. After three years I finally found a man that checked everything and found that I HAD repain the loan and overpaid it by about $7,500.



posted on Jun, 16 2005 @ 08:11 AM
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Well, i'm very glad it all worked out for you. I'm very sorry that you had to go through all of that due to a troublesome employee. Does this guy still work for the USDA with all of his drug convictions?


MBF

posted on Jun, 17 2005 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by zenlover28
Well, i'm very glad it all worked out for you. I'm very sorry that you had to go through all of that due to a troublesome employee. Does this guy still work for the USDA with all of his drug convictions?


My problem is not resolved, only the part about paying the loan has been. The man still works for the USDA, but they keep him away from me. I'm 5'4" and he is about 6'9" but I'd tear into him in a second and they know it.

My next step is to get two senators and two congressmen involved. I have already discussed the problem with an aid for one of the senators. I know a man that works for this senator and he told me that I needed to get all these people involved. The list of what this man has done to me is about four pages long.



posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by tana
. why i thought tofu was one of the only foods that contained the full 8 amino acids. another way to get them is beans with rice. anyway am i wrong i recently moved to beijing china and i consume a large amount of tofu daily. any one know if i should just eat beef hahahha


(I hate being late on a thread.
)

Right. Soy generally has some wonderful benefits! But to some people it's not so good.

We're not sure if the estrogen-like effects of soy actually increase the risk in some women of certain types of cancer; some interesting info here . That being said, the truth is we really don't know of the longterm effects of soy in women who might already be a higher risk, although it's looking like there might be legitimate concerns.

For people who are hypothyroid (I'm one of those), soy can disrupt a healthier eating plan, too.

Soy and thyroid activity

It looks like that to the average healthy person, eating soy products isn't going to do you much (if any) harm; but to a certain population they can be more trouble than they're worth.



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