News And Notes

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News and notes from reader emails, the news, and life in general:

USDA Lunch Follies, Part One

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twice: when a government program fails, government officials interpret the failure as proof that they should do it again – only bigger!

Students all over the country are complaining about the tasteless and unsatisfying lunches mandated by the USDA, and they’re throwing away the fruits and vegetables the USDA requires them to put on their plates.  So how does the USDA respond to this failure? By encouraging parents to serve the same kinds of meals at home, of course:

Government-approved school meals as a model for the family dinner table?

Responding to concerns that students are throwing away the healthy food on their cafeteria trays, the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledged that adapting to the changes “may be challenging at first, as students are introduced to new flavors and foods in the cafeteria.”

Actually, geniuses, if you pay attention to the students’ complaints, you’ll recognize that the “challenge” stems from less flavor and less food, not the “newness” of it all.

But the government also says parents can help schools make the taste-transition easier:

“We know that many parents are already making changes at home to help the whole family eat healthier,” the USDA blogged on Monday. “We recommend reviewing school menus with kids at home and working to incorporate foods that are being served at school into family meals as much as possible.”

Brilliant idea.

“Hey, kids, let’s review those lunches you hate at school and talk about serving the same foods for family dinners as well.”

“Great idea, Mom. In these tough economic times, you definitely want to buy a lot of food that Sis and I will toss in the trash.”

Let me interpret the USDA’s suggestion: Parents, if you serve crappy, unsatisfying meals at home, your kids won’t be so quick to recognize that their school lunches are crappy and unsatisfying.

USDA Lunch Follies, Part Two

The USDA orders school kids to put foods on their plates they don’t want to eat, so the students (surprise!) toss those foods into the trash. Hmmm, how should we deal with this? Stop insisting kids take foods they don’t want? Let them decide for themselves what they’ll eat for lunch?  Nawwww … the obvious next move here is to conduct a careful study of the trash.

After finding out that most of the fruits and vegetables on the school lunch menu ended up in the trash, school board members in the Lake County school district in central Florida are considering attaching cameras to school cafeteria trash cans to study what students are tossing out.

“How many hours of trash-can video have you reviewed, Jenkins?”

“Sixteen.”

“And what have you seen?”

“So far, I’ve seen 437 kids giving us the finger.”

“Interesting. I didn’t think kindergartners could even spot a spycam.”

“Yes, they’re a bright bunch, sir.”

“I said, how about we put cameras in the trash cans so we can document the concrete data of what students are throwing out,” School Board member Tod Howard told NBC News. “That way we can not only show what the students are not eating, but we can also look at how presentation affects consumption and present that data to the federal government if we need to.”

Ahh, yes, that’s why the kids are throwing away the fruits and vegetables they’re forced to put on their plates: unappealing presentations. If you arrange carrots in amusing patterns, kids will snap them up.

Howard said he made the suggestion as a 2010 federal law on child nutrition, vigorously promoted by first lady Michelle Obama, went into effect in schools across the nation.

Among other things, the law requires schools across the county to serve an increased number of vegetables, including weekly servings of leafy greens, red or orange vegetables, and legumes. Students must take at least one serving, but according to officials from the Lake County Food Services Department, Howard said, that led students last year to toss about $75,000 worth of produce in the garbage.

“They have to take it, and then it ends up in the trash can. And that’s a waste of taxpayer money, and it’s also not giving students the nutrition that they need.”

I don’t know why spending tax dollars on food that ends up in the trash would concern anyone. According to prevailing economic theories, that’s a “stimulus” program. I’m surprised Paul Krugman hasn’t called for continually increasing the amount of unwanted food we force students to take until we reach full employment. Better yet, we should borrow money from the Chinese to buy vegetables grown in China, ship them to the U.S., then throw them away.

Howard said the idea is still in its early stages, and he and other school board members are still working out logistics. While he says the actual cost of the initiative for the 40,000-student district has not yet been quantified, he suspected it would be low because he proposed re-purposing old security cameras that the school already owns for the trash can monitoring.

Well, that’s what I love about government: the never-ending quest for thrift and efficiency. Re-purposing existing security cameras and conducting a video study of the lunch-room trash would definitely be cheaper than, say, tapping a few dozen kids on the shoulder and saying, “Excuse me, do you mind telling me which part of your USDA-mandated lunch you’re throwing in the trash and why?”

Big Boomers

The USDA started making dietary recommendations in the 1970s. That means the baby-boomers were the first generation affected by those guidelines. Let’s see how that’s working out:

The Baby Boomer generation’s overall health has been on a sharp decline.

Australian researchers from Adelaide’s three universities have completed the first stage of a report on the generation born between the end of the Second World War and the mid-1960s.

Obesity among baby boomers is more than double the rate of their parents at the same age, and boomers with three or more chronic conditions was 700 percent greater than the previous generation.

When I was talking to Dr. Ann Childers on the low-carb cruise, she mentioned something about all those baby-boomers running around shirtless at Woodstock in 1969, sporting “flat bellies they didn’t deserve.” By “didn’t deserve,” she of course meant they weren’t dieting or exercising or otherwise making efforts to be thin. They just were. That was before the USDA started telling us how to eat.  Take a look at some pictures from Woodstock:

The generation that warned its members to never trust anybody over age 30 should have checked the ages of the people who came up with the Food Pyramid.

As the first wave of baby-boomer reached age 60, many of them were fond of saying “Sixty is the new forty.” Yeah, right. Here’s a little thought experiment: Imagine your great-grandfather at age 40. Now put him in a contest with an average 60-year-old from today … foot race, softball game, boxing match, bar brawl, whatever. Who would you bet on?

Okay, that was too easy.  Now suppose your 60-year-old great-grandfather was up against an average 40-year-old today.  Who would you bet on?  I’ve seen a picture of my great-grandfather in his 60s.  I’m betting on him.

Professor Graeme Hugo from the University of Adelaide said the findings were alarming and evidence that new public policies were needed.

Professor Hugo, public policies are what got us into this mess. Public policies are the reason school kids in the U.S. are tossing their lunches into the trash. If we’re looking for answers, perhaps we should start by examining the public policies (and lack thereof) back when the baby-boomers’ parents and grandparents managed to feed themselves without becoming fat and sick.

Scientists Are Freakin’ Liars

I’ll preface this by saying (again) that I don’t believe most scientists are liars. But far too many are, and I believe the motivation for being freakin’ liars usually boils down to one of two reasons:

1. They have a pet theory and want that theory to be right.
2. They want to keep the grant money flowing in.

A recent article in The Register points to the second cause:

Medical boffins are rarely wrong when they publish in journals – but some are prepared to lie quite a lot, according to a new study on retracted scientific papers.

Previous studies have claimed that most papers are pulled from publication because there’s some error in them, but this fresh investigation claims malpractice is actually responsible for two-thirds of all retractions.

Boffin misconduct includes copying others’ findings and plagiarism, but fraud and suspected fraud are the biggest problem and that’s increased ten-fold since 1975. For this new study, 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed that were retracted by 3 May, 2012 were reviewed.

The researchers aren’t sure why so many scientists are now willing to steal their results, but the increasingly desperate competition for funding might have something to do with it.

Milking governments for cash for projects with no obvious monetary value has always been tough, but the global recession is making it worse – and it’s feared some scientists have bent their findings to suit paymasters’ agendas to guarantee funding.

Scientists bending their findings to suit their paymasters’ agendas is nothing new, of course. We wouldn’t have a $30 billion statin industry otherwise. The difference is that statins do have a monetary value, if very little health value.

“Scientists are human, and some of them will succumb to this pressure, especially when there’s so much competition for funding,” said Arturo Casadevall, a professor of microbiology, immunology and medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

The academic, who is the senior author of the study, continued: “Perhaps our most telling finding is what happened after 2005, which is when the number of retractions began to skyrocket. That’s exactly when National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding began to get very tight.

I think the lesson for the scientists is obvious: if you want to continue milking governments for cash for projects with no obvious monetary value, get out of the medical-research business and start a solar-energy company … or a company that provides vegetables for school lunches.


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66 thoughts on “News And Notes

  1. Lynda

    I love the comparison to the Woodstock days! I was only 11 then but I remember when I was a teenager everyone was slim. I mean all the guys had gorgeous flat stomachs and the girls wore tiny bikinis! None of them went to gym – heck they didn’t really exist then. So much has gone wrong since then and not just in America.

    I was in grade school in the 1960s and we had maybe one or two fat kids in each class. Unfortunately, by the time I was in sixth grade I was one of them.

  2. Lobogris

    Another reason for the cameras would be to see WHO is throwing away what food. So those students can be targeted.

    “What have you seen so far, Jenkins?”

    “I’ve seen 347 kids wearing Groucho Marx disguises giving us the finger.”

  3. Ash Simmonds

    Ooh I’m relevant – well not really, just that I’m from Adelaide where you cited the latest studies, and my friend’s mother is one of the cheif nutrition scientists who helped pioneer the feedlot pyramid…

    Forgive them, for they know not what they do ….

  4. Lori

    “We recommend reviewing school menus with kids at home and working to incorporate foods that are being served at school into family meals as much as possible.”

    And there you have the difference between government and free enterprise. A for-profit restaurant would find a balance between nutrition and taste such that kids would want the food and parents would pay for it. The manager would know that getting parents to change what they serve at home is highly improbable.

  5. johnny

    To mitigate taxpayer’s money waste, schools should set two garbage bins at the cafeteria.

    One labeled fruit and the other labeled vegetables.

    At the end of the day pick up the garbage…err fruits and vegetables, and re-serve it the next day.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle.

  6. Lynda

    I love the comparison to the Woodstock days! I was only 11 then but I remember when I was a teenager everyone was slim. I mean all the guys had gorgeous flat stomachs and the girls wore tiny bikinis! None of them went to gym – heck they didn’t really exist then. So much has gone wrong since then and not just in America.

    I was in grade school in the 1960s and we had maybe one or two fat kids in each class. Unfortunately, by the time I was in sixth grade I was one of them.

  7. Lobogris

    Another reason for the cameras would be to see WHO is throwing away what food. So those students can be targeted.

    “What have you seen so far, Jenkins?”

    “I’ve seen 347 kids wearing Groucho Marx disguises giving us the finger.”

  8. Ash Simmonds

    Ooh I’m relevant – well not really, just that I’m from Adelaide where you cited the latest studies, and my friend’s mother is one of the cheif nutrition scientists who helped pioneer the feedlot pyramid…

    Forgive them, for they know not what they do ….

  9. Lori

    “We recommend reviewing school menus with kids at home and working to incorporate foods that are being served at school into family meals as much as possible.”

    And there you have the difference between government and free enterprise. A for-profit restaurant would find a balance between nutrition and taste such that kids would want the food and parents would pay for it. The manager would know that getting parents to change what they serve at home is highly improbable.

  10. johnny

    To mitigate taxpayer’s money waste, schools should set two garbage bins at the cafeteria.

    One labeled fruit and the other labeled vegetables.

    At the end of the day pick up the garbage…err fruits and vegetables, and re-serve it the next day.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle.

  11. Tom Welsh

    Of course, maybe the baby-boomers running around shirtless at Woodstock were shirtless precisely because they wanted to show off their flat bellies. I seem to remember (dimly) something called “personal modesty” which meant (among other things) that if your body was nothing to be proud of, you kept it covered.

    Gosh, Tom, your critical thinking is rubbing off!

    Yup, I thought of that when I attended my high-school reunion. There were very few fat people there, mostly just people with a bit of a belly. I figured the people from our class who blew up probably didn’t attend.

    In crowd shots from Woodstock, however, you’ll see very few large bodies, shirtless or not.

  12. mezzo

    Meaning no disrespect Tom but I have always found standard American food quite bland anyway. I can’t begin to imagine what these school lunches must taste like. Food should be nutritious and filling – and rewarding, i.e. tasty even though there are some people out there who claim that rewarding foods make you fat. They’ve got the wrong end of the stick, I think. The better and varied something tastes (natural taste of course) the more satisfying it is, the more pleasure I get out of it and the longer it keeps me feeling happy and sated. Like a nice dish of spicy curry as opposed to a plateful of tasteless veggies.

    I agree; the last thing our standard fare needs is to be made more bland.

  13. desmond

    Simple question: “If the new school lunch regulations were put into effect at the FDA, Dept. of Education, and (especially) the Congressional cafeterias; how long would it be tolerated?” When I jokingly asked this question to a co-worker, her reply was, “Exactly how many martinis are allowed at lunch in the new plan?”

    I just wished I owned a quick-mart near a school. I would sell out of corn chips every afternoon.

    Congress routinely exempts itself from laws it imposes on the rest of us.

  14. LCNana

    Hi Tom, great post today! Makes me sad and mad. In a prior post I was nattering on about bread and how I was trying to understand why we could not eat it and be healthy. Anyway since then I’ve come across an old book thanks to Mike Eades latest blog post. Book is old and can be read as pdf.

    The book is”The Stone Age Diet “by Dr. Walter L. Voegltin in case your readers want to delve into this subject. Voegltin explains the differences in digestive process between man/dog and sheep in great detail. Goes into the anthropology of how man began to eat grains etc. Very interesting and got my head straight.

    If only the “boffins” would learn about human digestion that would be a start. We pass cellulose through our bodies but don’t get much out of it like sheep can. Whereas like dogs we can gobble meat by the pound and be perfectly healthy. This is the simple view but hey, it is pretty simple!

    Thanks for the recommendation on the book.

  15. Tom Welsh

    Of course, maybe the baby-boomers running around shirtless at Woodstock were shirtless precisely because they wanted to show off their flat bellies. I seem to remember (dimly) something called “personal modesty” which meant (among other things) that if your body was nothing to be proud of, you kept it covered.

    Gosh, Tom, your critical thinking is rubbing off!

    Yup, I thought of that when I attended my high-school reunion. There were very few fat people there, mostly just people with a bit of a belly. I figured the people from our class who blew up probably didn’t attend.

    In crowd shots from Woodstock, however, you’ll see very few large bodies, shirtless or not.

  16. mezzo

    Meaning no disrespect Tom but I have always found standard American food quite bland anyway. I can’t begin to imagine what these school lunches must taste like. Food should be nutritious and filling – and rewarding, i.e. tasty even though there are some people out there who claim that rewarding foods make you fat. They’ve got the wrong end of the stick, I think. The better and varied something tastes (natural taste of course) the more satisfying it is, the more pleasure I get out of it and the longer it keeps me feeling happy and sated. Like a nice dish of spicy curry as opposed to a plateful of tasteless veggies.

    I agree; the last thing our standard fare needs is to be made more bland.

  17. Ellen

    Since I’ve lost weight going low carb, I always hear from different people how thin I look. I still weigh 10lbs more than in high school when I considered myself average size. After looking at your Woodstock pics, you really do notice how different most people looked then compared to now.

  18. CeeBee

    Ha! The only time I have ever reviewed the school lunch menu with my son was when he wanted to decide what days he wanted to eat in the lunchroom or bring a lunch from home. He hasn’t eaten a school lunch in years.

    Down here our little school has a very high percentage of kids who eat free or reduced price lunches. Most of the kids at our school eat TWO meals a day in the school cafeteria, breakfast and lunch. They even have a program that feeds the kids breakfast and lunch in the summer time. So, the government program that is supposed to be caring for the children of people who do not have the resources they need to feed them properly, is essentially ruining the health of those kids, setting them up for lower achievement and keeping that cycle of poverty going.

    My son tells me that the kids do end up throwing away a lot of the fruit that they are given for lunch, but not because they don’t want to eat it. Lunch is only 20 minutes and school policy is that you can not take any food out of the cafeteria. Even if they want to take an orange or apple to eat later, they aren’t allowed to take it out, so it gets tossed in the trash. The kids are starting to lie when they are caught with food from lunch. Can you believe that? If they are seen with a food item and a teacher asks what they are doing with it the kids say they brought it from home. (My son told me about a classmate of his who was caught with a contraband pear.)

    What a stupid system. The kids are hungry, the food is bought for them, but they must only eat it when and where they are told.

    A contraband pear … only in government.

  19. desmond

    Simple question: “If the new school lunch regulations were put into effect at the FDA, Dept. of Education, and (especially) the Congressional cafeterias; how long would it be tolerated?” When I jokingly asked this question to a co-worker, her reply was, “Exactly how many martinis are allowed at lunch in the new plan?”

    I just wished I owned a quick-mart near a school. I would sell out of corn chips every afternoon.

    Congress routinely exempts itself from laws it imposes on the rest of us.

  20. Firebird

    “Those skinny kids at Woodstock were under the influence of narcotic substances that curbed the appetite.” ~ Official White Horse Souse

  21. Marilyn

    Dontcha wonder? What the White House kids eat for lunch on school days?

    Dontcha wonder? What would happen if the person(s) pushing this nonsense were required by law to eat adult portions of these school lunches five days a week, week after week, month after month. . . ? And there were cameras to document what was thrown into the trash?

  22. LCNana

    Hi Tom, great post today! Makes me sad and mad. In a prior post I was nattering on about bread and how I was trying to understand why we could not eat it and be healthy. Anyway since then I’ve come across an old book thanks to Mike Eades latest blog post. Book is old and can be read as pdf.

    The book is”The Stone Age Diet “by Dr. Walter L. Voegltin in case your readers want to delve into this subject. Voegltin explains the differences in digestive process between man/dog and sheep in great detail. Goes into the anthropology of how man began to eat grains etc. Very interesting and got my head straight.

    If only the “boffins” would learn about human digestion that would be a start. We pass cellulose through our bodies but don’t get much out of it like sheep can. Whereas like dogs we can gobble meat by the pound and be perfectly healthy. This is the simple view but hey, it is pretty simple!

    Thanks for the recommendation on the book.

  23. Desmond

    I did a little research to follow up on my earlier post about what the adults are allowed to eat.

    This week’s menu for the South Cafe at USDA headquarters in D.C. (http://www.dm.usda.gov/oo/cafemenu.htm) includes many choices, but no posted calorie limit. How about scrambed eggs, corned beef hash, biscuits-n-gravy, and some scrapple from the breakfast buffet? Maybe start lunch with a bowl of creamy potato leek soup, then enjoy Cuban pork sholder with your fresh veggie sides? Come back at 3pm for 50% off frozen yogurt!

    If the Secretary of Agriculture got the Military to follow the new school guidelines in its mess halls, he would win the Nobel Peace Prize for quickly reducing the size of a standing army.

  24. Amberly

    I have to say that the the new USDA food guidelines have saved me $10-20 a month. Last year, I let my kindergarten son choose “hot lunch” once a week and he always chose pizza day. And then it got easier, so when we were running late, I would just have him get school food. (I’m getting myself steady on low-carb before I try to switch my kids over.) This year, in response to the USDA guidelines, they had to start offering “healthier” pizza from a different provider. When I told my son that it was going to be low fat nasty pizza, and that he wasn’t going to buy school lunch anymore, he decided that was fine, and we haven’t bought school lunch at all.

    I think we’ll see more and more of that.

  25. Marilyn

    “We know that many parents are already making changes at home to help the whole family eat healthier,” the USDA blogged on Monday. “We recommend reviewing school menus with kids at home and working to incorporate foods that are being served at school into family meals as much as possible.”

    Next will be the food police running cameras on the trash cans in peoples’ homes.

    Don’t give them any ideas.

  26. Ellen

    Since I’ve lost weight going low carb, I always hear from different people how thin I look. I still weigh 10lbs more than in high school when I considered myself average size. After looking at your Woodstock pics, you really do notice how different most people looked then compared to now.

  27. CeeBee

    Ha! The only time I have ever reviewed the school lunch menu with my son was when he wanted to decide what days he wanted to eat in the lunchroom or bring a lunch from home. He hasn’t eaten a school lunch in years.

    Down here our little school has a very high percentage of kids who eat free or reduced price lunches. Most of the kids at our school eat TWO meals a day in the school cafeteria, breakfast and lunch. They even have a program that feeds the kids breakfast and lunch in the summer time. So, the government program that is supposed to be caring for the children of people who do not have the resources they need to feed them properly, is essentially ruining the health of those kids, setting them up for lower achievement and keeping that cycle of poverty going.

    My son tells me that the kids do end up throwing away a lot of the fruit that they are given for lunch, but not because they don’t want to eat it. Lunch is only 20 minutes and school policy is that you can not take any food out of the cafeteria. Even if they want to take an orange or apple to eat later, they aren’t allowed to take it out, so it gets tossed in the trash. The kids are starting to lie when they are caught with food from lunch. Can you believe that? If they are seen with a food item and a teacher asks what they are doing with it the kids say they brought it from home. (My son told me about a classmate of his who was caught with a contraband pear.)

    What a stupid system. The kids are hungry, the food is bought for them, but they must only eat it when and where they are told.

    A contraband pear … only in government.

  28. Firebird

    “Those skinny kids at Woodstock were under the influence of narcotic substances that curbed the appetite.” ~ Official White Horse Souse

  29. Marilyn

    Dontcha wonder? What the White House kids eat for lunch on school days?

    Dontcha wonder? What would happen if the person(s) pushing this nonsense were required by law to eat adult portions of these school lunches five days a week, week after week, month after month. . . ? And there were cameras to document what was thrown into the trash?

  30. ngyoung

    I think the schools have a legit reason not to let kids take food out of the cafeteria, which is pretty much the same reason I wasn’t allowed to take food out of the kitchen as a kid. During locker clean out day you were usually reminded why they have that rule when everyone plays the guessing game of what some nasty growth of fungus used to be that Mikey pulled out of the back of his locker.

  31. Nathaniel

    I’d like to see the low carb community get a bit more into weightlifting, specifically strength training with barbells. It seems to me that they have half of the equation — that high carb diets are not what we are adapted for — but haven’t quite accepted the performance aspect of human health: humans adapted under harsh conditions and have the potential to be brutally strong, fast and powerful. I understand the point of people at Woodstock being skinny showing how far down the wrong path we’ve come, but I doubt many at Woodstock could squat 405 or bench 1.5x bodyweight. Always a fan of the blog

    Weight-lifters were seen as kind of a freakish cult when I was a kid. I never saw a Nautilus machine anywhere until I was in high school.

    I know lots of low-carbers who lift weights, as I do.

  32. Desmond

    I did a little research to follow up on my earlier post about what the adults are allowed to eat.

    This week’s menu for the South Cafe at USDA headquarters in D.C. (http://www.dm.usda.gov/oo/cafemenu.htm) includes many choices, but no posted calorie limit. How about scrambed eggs, corned beef hash, biscuits-n-gravy, and some scrapple from the breakfast buffet? Maybe start lunch with a bowl of creamy potato leek soup, then enjoy Cuban pork sholder with your fresh veggie sides? Come back at 3pm for 50% off frozen yogurt!

    If the Secretary of Agriculture got the Military to follow the new school guidelines in its mess halls, he would win the Nobel Peace Prize for quickly reducing the size of a standing army.

  33. Amberly

    I have to say that the the new USDA food guidelines have saved me $10-20 a month. Last year, I let my kindergarten son choose “hot lunch” once a week and he always chose pizza day. And then it got easier, so when we were running late, I would just have him get school food. (I’m getting myself steady on low-carb before I try to switch my kids over.) This year, in response to the USDA guidelines, they had to start offering “healthier” pizza from a different provider. When I told my son that it was going to be low fat nasty pizza, and that he wasn’t going to buy school lunch anymore, he decided that was fine, and we haven’t bought school lunch at all.

    I think we’ll see more and more of that.

  34. ngyoung

    I think the schools have a legit reason not to let kids take food out of the cafeteria, which is pretty much the same reason I wasn’t allowed to take food out of the kitchen as a kid. During locker clean out day you were usually reminded why they have that rule when everyone plays the guessing game of what some nasty growth of fungus used to be that Mikey pulled out of the back of his locker.

  35. Bill

    I don’t share the opinion that it’s all about govmint interference where it shouldn’t be. They’re doing the best they can, but it’s tough, being retarded and all. If it was backed by good science, it would be OK. But it’s backed only by studies bought-and-paid-for by Big Ag, and by the revolving door of private sector ex-govt employment, the “career incest” that is institutionalized today. If that isn’t corruption, I don’t know what is.

    Now if the private sector was designing the school eats, the portions would all be 5000 calories and 15,000 mg of salt, & all wheat and corn and extra HFCS. Our kids would all look like fat little hogs. Uh-h-h, whoops…

    Who says some private-sector company needs to design the school lunches? How about parents or local school boards? The difference between government and the private sector is that private companies can’t give you orders. They can only persuade you to buy what they’re selling.

  36. Nathaniel

    I’d like to see the low carb community get a bit more into weightlifting, specifically strength training with barbells. It seems to me that they have half of the equation — that high carb diets are not what we are adapted for — but haven’t quite accepted the performance aspect of human health: humans adapted under harsh conditions and have the potential to be brutally strong, fast and powerful. I understand the point of people at Woodstock being skinny showing how far down the wrong path we’ve come, but I doubt many at Woodstock could squat 405 or bench 1.5x bodyweight. Always a fan of the blog

    Weight-lifters were seen as kind of a freakish cult when I was a kid. I never saw a Nautilus machine anywhere until I was in high school.

    I know lots of low-carbers who lift weights, as I do.

  37. Johnnie & Bonnie

    LOL! “They can ‘only’ persuade you to buy what they’re selling.”

    Oh, is that all? Oh, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Do we? Everybody knows that has never worked.

    Of course persuasion works. It works because companies develop products that are attractive enough that you’ll voluntarily buy them. The difference is that they cannot force you to buy their products …. unless they leverage the power of government.

  38. Bill

    I don’t share the opinion that it’s all about govmint interference where it shouldn’t be. They’re doing the best they can, but it’s tough, being retarded and all. If it was backed by good science, it would be OK. But it’s backed only by studies bought-and-paid-for by Big Ag, and by the revolving door of private sector ex-govt employment, the “career incest” that is institutionalized today. If that isn’t corruption, I don’t know what is.

    Now if the private sector was designing the school eats, the portions would all be 5000 calories and 15,000 mg of salt, & all wheat and corn and extra HFCS. Our kids would all look like fat little hogs. Uh-h-h, whoops…

    Who says some private-sector company needs to design the school lunches? How about parents or local school boards? The difference between government and the private sector is that private companies can’t give you orders. They can only persuade you to buy what they’re selling.

  39. Lori

    “Now if the private sector was designing the school eats, the portions would all be 5000 calories and 15,000 mg of salt, & all wheat and corn and extra HFCS. Our kids would all look like fat little hogs. Uh-h-h, whoops…”

    Actually, some high schools have fast food storefronts like Chick-Fil-A and Subway. Before that, high school kids went off campus to fast food joints and soda shops for generations before obesity started taking off. Parents who don’t want their kids eating the fast food at school don’t give their kids lunch money.

    A quarter-pound burger, small fries and water or a diet drink from McDonald’s actually has more fat, less wheat and a lot fewer carbs than a typical school lunch. Nowhere near 5,000 calories, either–unless you’re eating a week’s worth of lunches in one sitting. If McDuck’s can do better than school lunches without even trying, a bidder approved by parents or the local school board ought to provide far better meals.

  40. Osama Magdi Elmageid

    It’s very sad that scientists are such liars that violate scientific protocol. This is the same garbage that happens with the human caused global warming theory.

    Don’t get me started on that one. I wrote about it several times on my other blog.

  41. Johnnie & Bonnie

    LOL! “They can ‘only’ persuade you to buy what they’re selling.”

    Oh, is that all? Oh, then we have absolutely nothing to worry about. Do we? Everybody knows that has never worked.

    Of course persuasion works. It works because companies develop products that are attractive enough that you’ll voluntarily buy them. The difference is that they cannot force you to buy their products …. unless they leverage the power of government.

  42. eddie watts

    Bill said “They’re doing the best they can, but it’s tough, being retarded and all.”

    that actually made me laugh out loud at work, whoops!
    the woodstock crowd are of course self selecting for those who took their tops off, but having seen footage of current day festivals i think we can all agree the viewers are very different now!

    good stuff as usual Tom. also i loved the school kids video we are hungry from a few days ago

  43. Lori

    “Now if the private sector was designing the school eats, the portions would all be 5000 calories and 15,000 mg of salt, & all wheat and corn and extra HFCS. Our kids would all look like fat little hogs. Uh-h-h, whoops…”

    Actually, some high schools have fast food storefronts like Chick-Fil-A and Subway. Before that, high school kids went off campus to fast food joints and soda shops for generations before obesity started taking off. Parents who don’t want their kids eating the fast food at school don’t give their kids lunch money.

    A quarter-pound burger, small fries and water or a diet drink from McDonald’s actually has more fat, less wheat and a lot fewer carbs than a typical school lunch. Nowhere near 5,000 calories, either–unless you’re eating a week’s worth of lunches in one sitting. If McDuck’s can do better than school lunches without even trying, a bidder approved by parents or the local school board ought to provide far better meals.

  44. Osama Magdi Elmageid

    It’s very sad that scientists are such liars that violate scientific protocol. This is the same garbage that happens with the human caused global warming theory.

    Don’t get me started on that one. I wrote about it several times on my other blog.

  45. LCNana

    Tom, I’ve been harping on this for years and get told to get into the 21st century!!! Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers?

    Not all women work, surely? And even for those who do how hard is it to pack a kid’s lunch? Can’t it be don’t the night before? Can’t the kids learn to do it? It’s NOT rocket science to get kids to decide what they like, given certain parameters, and give it to them to take to school For heaven sake, let’s stop blaming the damned schools and government and put the onus on parents/mothers to get back in the game!!!!

    We go on and on about “the poor” who can’t or don’t know how, to feed their kids a decent lunch. And this after billions have been spend on giving them education, resources, and food in order that they CAN feed them. Isn’t this how all this mandated school feeding got started in the first place?

    But most of the problems you describe are not about feeding the poor. They are problems for all kids in school. If mothers and fathers who can, are not feeding their kids from home there is something terribly wrong THERE, and the schools/government have nothing to do with it.

    I know, I’m old fashioned. I think parents should take total responsibility for their children. What a concept eh?

    I’m big on parental responsibility too, but there are a couple of issues here: one, we’ve already seen school districts either forbid bringing meals from home or dictating what those meals must contain; two, if parents and kids like the convenience of buying lunch, the kids shouldn’t be told what they can, cannot, and MUST put on their plates by the USDA. We can find ways around government nonsense, but that doesn’t excuse the nonsense.

  46. eddie watts

    Bill said “They’re doing the best they can, but it’s tough, being retarded and all.”

    that actually made me laugh out loud at work, whoops!
    the woodstock crowd are of course self selecting for those who took their tops off, but having seen footage of current day festivals i think we can all agree the viewers are very different now!

    good stuff as usual Tom. also i loved the school kids video we are hungry from a few days ago

  47. Bruce

    Here is what the presidents girls get for lunch on Tuesday this week. Monday is a holiday.

    Local Butternut Squash and Celeriac Soup
    Farmer’s Salad
    Local Collard Salad w/ Grape Tomatoes & Applewood Bacon
    Sustainable Harvest Meal
    Sliced All Natural Rosemary Chicken
    Farmer’s Market Quinoa
    Roasted Local Market Veggies
    Basmati Rice with Fresh Garden Herbs
    Toigo Apple Crisp

    Friday

    Calico Wild Rice Soup
    Tuna Salad
    Autumn Grain Salad
    MG Salmon Cakes
    Asparagus, Wild Mushroom and Barley Bake
    Garlic Haricot Verts
    Roasted New Potatoes
    Sliced Melon

    At my local school

    Tuesday

    Foot long hot dogs
    Baked Beans
    Sweet Potato Chips
    Chilled Pears
    OR
    Bean Burrito with salsa
    OR
    Veggie Wrap

    Friday
    Turkey Tacos on whole grain shells with salsa. peppers, lettuce
    Cheese/ cinnamon chips (not quite sure what that is)
    Chilled pineapple
    OR
    Chicken salad on wheat
    OR
    Whole wheat veggie wrap

    It’s like a mirror image of each other.

    Not sure if they get a good chardonnay to wash it all down.

  48. Firebird

    Nathaniel, I’ve been a weightlifter since I was 13. I just turned 48. I’ve been through every conceivable diet known to man, and I can tell you, if a weightlifter or bodybuilder could get bigger or stronger from drinking sewer water, they would drink it. In my 20s I was very meticulous with diet, keeping a meal log broken down into protein, carbs and fats. I would include the protein in bread, pasta, even mushrooms.

    I’ve been low carb off an on for 10 years, mostly keeping things close to the Zone Diet. Within the last two years, I have been really low carb, and I can tell you its no better or worse than any other diet for weightlifting. I didn’t lose any strength. What strength I did gain is strength lost over the years, which is a product of changing exercises periodically. I use dumbbells, barbells, some cable, and am proficient with the kettlebell, performing movements that went out of style ages ago that were favorites of the old time strongmen.

    My endurance hasn’t improved, but that’s me and has nothing to do with diet. That’s just my make up. What I am saying is that you CAN do low carb and lift weights and do very well with it.

  49. LCNana

    Tom, I’ve been harping on this for years and get told to get into the 21st century!!! Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers? Where are the mothers?

    Not all women work, surely? And even for those who do how hard is it to pack a kid’s lunch? Can’t it be don’t the night before? Can’t the kids learn to do it? It’s NOT rocket science to get kids to decide what they like, given certain parameters, and give it to them to take to school For heaven sake, let’s stop blaming the damned schools and government and put the onus on parents/mothers to get back in the game!!!!

    We go on and on about “the poor” who can’t or don’t know how, to feed their kids a decent lunch. And this after billions have been spend on giving them education, resources, and food in order that they CAN feed them. Isn’t this how all this mandated school feeding got started in the first place?

    But most of the problems you describe are not about feeding the poor. They are problems for all kids in school. If mothers and fathers who can, are not feeding their kids from home there is something terribly wrong THERE, and the schools/government have nothing to do with it.

    I know, I’m old fashioned. I think parents should take total responsibility for their children. What a concept eh?

    I’m big on parental responsibility too, but there are a couple of issues here: one, we’ve already seen school districts either forbid bringing meals from home or dictating what those meals must contain; two, if parents and kids like the convenience of buying lunch, the kids shouldn’t be told what they can, cannot, and MUST put on their plates by the USDA. We can find ways around government nonsense, but that doesn’t excuse the nonsense.

  50. Bruce

    Here is what the presidents girls get for lunch on Tuesday this week. Monday is a holiday.

    Local Butternut Squash and Celeriac Soup
    Farmer’s Salad
    Local Collard Salad w/ Grape Tomatoes & Applewood Bacon
    Sustainable Harvest Meal
    Sliced All Natural Rosemary Chicken
    Farmer’s Market Quinoa
    Roasted Local Market Veggies
    Basmati Rice with Fresh Garden Herbs
    Toigo Apple Crisp

    Friday

    Calico Wild Rice Soup
    Tuna Salad
    Autumn Grain Salad
    MG Salmon Cakes
    Asparagus, Wild Mushroom and Barley Bake
    Garlic Haricot Verts
    Roasted New Potatoes
    Sliced Melon

    At my local school

    Tuesday

    Foot long hot dogs
    Baked Beans
    Sweet Potato Chips
    Chilled Pears
    OR
    Bean Burrito with salsa
    OR
    Veggie Wrap

    Friday
    Turkey Tacos on whole grain shells with salsa. peppers, lettuce
    Cheese/ cinnamon chips (not quite sure what that is)
    Chilled pineapple
    OR
    Chicken salad on wheat
    OR
    Whole wheat veggie wrap

    It’s like a mirror image of each other.

    Not sure if they get a good chardonnay to wash it all down.

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