If the federal government’s influence over food choices were limited to releasing dense and unreadable Dietary Guidelines every five years, it wouldn’t be much to worry about. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Schools, the military, prisons and other government facilities are required to follow those guidelines.
And in case that’s not enough, they’re doing their best to harangue us into following the guidelines at home as well. Check out this video:
The Apps for Kids official website describes the competition:
The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. Apps for Healthy Kids challenges software developers, game designers, students, and other innovators to develop fun and engaging software tools and games that drive children, especially “tweens” (ages 9-12) – directly or through their parents – to eat better and be more physically active.
Tools and games should be built using the USDA nutrition dataset recently made available to the public through the Open Government Initiative. The dataset provides information on total calories, calories from “extras” (solid fats and added sugars), and MyPyramid food groups for over 1,000 commonly eaten foods. We are seeking innovative and creative tools and games that use the USDA dataset to deliver nutrition and health concepts in a fun and engaging way.
Great … now kids can be brainwashed by the USDA while playing games. The only saving grace here is that the government officials in charge will probably select games no self-respecting kid would actually find interesting.
A few days ago, we decided we’d better do some summertime family activities before summer is gone, so we took the girls to play miniature golf and visit a children’s discovery center in a nearby town. It was a lovely drive through the hills and rolling countryside, where we saw several ranches with cows roaming around the pastures and eating grass … just like Mother Nature Intended.
The discovery center was actually pretty cool. Lots of interesting science, nature and technology exhibits for kids. Here’s my six-year-old getting up close and personal with some turtles:
Unfortunately, the USDA apparently rents a small section of the museum. An entire corner was dedicated to the wonders of the Food Pyramid and health advice based on it.
So this is what we’re up against. Dietary guidelines in the schools, dietary guidelines being programmed into educational games, dietary guidelines being quoted as gospel by health reporters in the media, dietary guidelines on display in museums, and of course dietary guidelines on your food packages. No wonder people give you a strange look if you tell them you avoid grains and eat lots of animal fats. It’s been pounded into their heads over and over that a diet like that will kill you.
Grains and soybean oil … lovely. Anyone out there really believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture is pushing those foods because they’re just soooooo good for you?
While I was pulling these pictures off my wife’s camera, I found a few others that are relevant. Apparently one of us wanted to remember breakfast one morning and took this one:
That’s a typical breakfast around here. Cheese and onion omelet (cooked in Kerrygold butter) with sour cream on top, bacon, avocado, a bit of fruit. No grains, and no godawful soybean oil to ruin it.
In the pictures above and below, you can see how a diet that rarely includes bread, pasta, cereal, or any of the foods at the base of the Food Pyramid has turned my six-year-old into a listless little weakling. These were taken at a fair in downtown Franklin. A bunch of other kids her age and older also tried to climb to the top of the wall, where they could push a buzzer to announce their success. Not one made it during the time we were watching. But she did.
We also finally got around to finding a local dentist and all had our first checkups in over a year. Four people, zero cavities. So I think I’ll continue ignoring the USDA and their Dietary Guidelines.