The USDA’s Next Grand Plan

      206 Comments on The USDA’s Next Grand Plan

Head.  Bang.  On.  Desk.

Thought I’d go ahead and get that out of the way before proceeding.  You may want to do likewise.  Go ahead and bang your head on your desk (or any nearby hard surface if you’re reading this on a tablet) while you’re calm and can control the momentum.

Okay, good.

Now, let me begin this post by quickly reviewing how The Anointed react when one of their Grand Plans fails:  they never, ever blame the plan.  The plan was, of course, brilliant and should have worked … after all, it was designed by The Anointed.  So if the plan fails, it can only mean that:

  • People didn’t implement the plan correctly because they’re stupid
  • People undermined the plan because they’re evil
  • The plan didn’t go far enough

The USDA’s Grand Plan to improve the nation’s health by telling us what to eat began with the Food Pyramid – you know, base your diet on 6-11 servings per day of grains, cut way back on fats, switch to vegetable oils, etc.  Strangely, the launching of the Grand Plan coincided with a decades-long rise in rates of obesity and diabetes.  So the USDA reached the only logical conclusion:  the Food Pyramid must be too complicated.  In other words, people didn’t follow it correctly because they’re stupid.

So the USDA took pretty much exactly the same dietary advice and repackaged it as MyPlate.  Much simpler, you see, because it’s shaped like a plate.  All the stupid people have to do is put grains on the brown section of the plate marked “grains,” vegetables on the green section marked “vegetables,” etc.

The “protein” section of MyPlate is purple, which I admit might be a problem.  Stupid people could end up wandering all over the store looking for purple foods, then end up eating unpeeled eggplants for protein.  In fact, the USDA appears to have zeroed in on grocery-shopping as the weak link in the whole plan.  After all, how are you supposed to properly fill all the sections of your MyPlate at home if you didn’t buy the correct foods in the first place?

Never fear … The Anointed at the USDA have a new plan to help the stupid people fill their shopping carts with MyPlate-approved foods.  Here are some quotes from an article in the U.K. Daily Mail:

Talking shopping carts, free movie tickets and supermarket cooking classes are just a few of the latest recommendations the government is proposing to trim America’s waistband.

The new proposals were detailed in an 80-page report released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is focused on the 42 million Americans receiving food stamps.

The problem isn’t that 42 million Americans are receiving food stamps, you see.  Nope, the problem is that they’re buying the wrong foods.  So we need talking shopping carts to tell them what to buy while they’re buying.  Can’t trust them to remember all that good USDA advice once they get past the greeter in the big-box store.

The new recommendations are designed to reward healthy eating and change supermarket layouts and programs to highlight more nutritional foods.

A shopping cart telling you what to buy and a reward if you comply … if you didn’t already believe The Anointed in government view people who don’t follow their advice as ignorant children, this should convince you.

‘Most Americans, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants, do not purchase enough whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, and legumes, and purchase too many items with excess calories from fats and added sugars,’ the report said.

The USDA first recommends that SNAP shoppers be rewarded for their healthy food choices with movie tickets or discounts.

And if that doesn’t work, we’ll threaten them with a spanking.

So let’s see … first we have the taxpayers pony up for food stamps, then we have them pony up for movie tickets if the people on food stamps buy foods approved by The Anointed.  Meanwhile, we’re $17 trillion in debt.  Is this a great country or what?

At least by offering bribes, The Anointed have indicated that they don’t believe everyone buying the (ahem) wrong foods is stupid.  Some of them are just mildly evil — gluttonous, undisciplined, whatever you want to call it — and are therefore willing to buy vegetables and whole grains if there’s a reward in it.  So let’s give them free tickets to a movie theater.  It’s not as if they’d buy a big tub of popcorn and a Coke or anything.

These so-called ‘MyCarts’ will be color-coded and physically divided by differently healthy food groups and notify when the shopper has enough to qualify for a reward.

‘You achieved a MyCart healthy shopping basket!’ it will say.

Well, that is inspiring.  Perhaps the cart can also print out little smiley-face stickers for the shoppers to stick on their report cards.

Other recommendations detailed in the report cooking classes held in grocery stores and employees who would act as ‘ambassadors’ to explain the different rewards programs.

‘In this role, floor staff has the ability to re-direct consumer purchase towards more healthful choices by explaining the incentive or the nutrition labeling system,’ the report said.

I see.  So if an electronic nanny doesn’t convince people to buy more whole grains, we’ll go with the human touch.

The USDA hopes to implement these programs in order to ‘change the choice architecture of the food retail environment’.

Allow me to interpret that:  The Anointed don’t like the choices people are making, so now they’re considering a big, stupid, expensive program to change the “choice architecture.”

How expensive?  Glad you asked.  Here’s the headline for article:

Will grocery stores be forced to install $30,000 talking carts that help shoppers make better food choices?

Forced?  Nawww, The Anointed would never use force to implement a new “choice architecture.”  All those Americans over age 50 who are now buying expensive insurance policies that cover infertility and maternity really wanted that extra coverage.

The headline gives the impression that the MyCart carts would cost $30,000 each.  That’s not true.  The report estimates that as the average cost to each grocery store.  (And we all know how accurate government cost estimates are.)  I know that because I read some of the USDA report.  I read some of the USDA report because this Grand Plan is so absurd – even for The Anointed – I thought the article must be a joke.

Nope.  It’s real.  Like I’ve said before, it’s difficult to separate comedy from reality when The Anointed in government start cooking up Grand Plans.

Now if you’ll excuse me, one head-bang on my desk wasn’t enough.


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206 thoughts on “The USDA’s Next Grand Plan

  1. The Older Brother

    I can’t wait to see my first urban camper (homeless dude) pushing a $30,000 “sidewalk RV” full of his belongings down the street while it’s screaming at the top of its microchips — “Help! Call the USDA – I’m being kidnapped!”

    Piggly Wiggly will need armed guards in the parking lots.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  2. scott

    It could be worse they could put grape jelly beans or jolly ranchers on their plate instead of egg plant, especially since the anointed believe they are that stupid.

    Reply
  3. Bernardo

    The fact that they spent millions just to come up with an idea like that should be motive for a criminal investigation. That’s what I always say, the worst kind of corruption is the one that is made legally and oficially, for allt o see. It’s just a way to fund the egos and lifestyles of incompetent people.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I agree, but first let’s go after the people who spent nearly a billion dollars on a federal website that has no security and doesn’t work very well.

      Reply
  4. Dave

    Would I get to keep the Talking Shopping Cart, Tom? ‘Cuz I could really use a talking cart, especially one that cares so much about me.

    DAVE: (Pushing TSC around home) “…and this is the den, TSC. We’re changing the wallpaper. It’s a bit flowery. We’d prefer something that makes the upholstery pop.”
    TSC: (Sniffs derisively) “Yes. Well, tastes differ, I suppose. It’s a matter of refinement.”
    DAVE: “Aaaand THIS is the food pantry, where you’ll be staying!”
    TSC: (Cart locks its wheels) “You’re not serious? What is all that on the shelves?”
    DAVE: “Uh, it’s food.”
    TSC: “Not where I come from. Or was manufactured. Why isn’t that pasta there more whole grainy? And is that a bag a salt? What are you, a deer? Who are you to make such unhealthy nutrition choices? Why, you probably give your kids milk!
    DAVE: “Well, yes.”
    TSC: “How dare you, sir! You disgust me! I’m leaving.”
    DAVE: “I’m sorry. I’ll walk you back to the market.”
    TSC: “Don’t bother. I’ll call for a cab. Or a bigger cart.”

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Now why am I picturing you pushing that cart towards a blast furnace while the cart is saying, “What do you think you’re doing, Dave?”

      Reply
  5. tony

    Can you imagine the cacophony at the market with all those talking carts? I wouldn’t be surprised some shoppers would go postal.

    And the way people bang shopping carts in the grocery’s parking lot would force the store to hire full time repair technicians.

    Reply
  6. Stephen

    Why does the USDA even think they have to get involved with advising people how to eat? No one listens anyway, and no one would follow a color-coded plate. People eat what they want to eat, and live with the consequences. The problem is, there aren’t really that many consequences of obesity when you just lie on the couch watching tv.

    When you have to move your own body weight all over town, you’ll lose weight. I can feel every kilo lost when I’m racing up the 2km 5% grade on 5th Ave:
    http://www.strava.com/athletes/ninehigh99

    Reply
    1. Wayne Gage

      Stephen, studies show that exercise and moving does not aid weight loss to any purposeful degree…people are more active after they lose weight.

      Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Heh-heh … moving is good for your health, so keep moving. But the research is clear on that issue: exercise has little effect on weight loss. I didn’t want to believe it myself, but the research was convincing.

          Reply
          1. Stephen

            I definitely eat a lot more after working out. I’d be much better off riding for 4 hours at a recreational pace, than doing a high-intensity workout. On a lot of rides, I eat over 1200 calories. If I just ride for fun, I don’t eat anything.

            I just can’t help myself. It’s too much fun out there 🙂

            Reply
    2. Jill

      Because it’s part of the UN plan to get people off meat so they die sooner so the New World Govt as implemented by the UN and its implementation arm ICLEI – which most local councils signed up to worldwide – can control you and your property and keep all the good stuff.

      Just google Rosa Koire UN Agenda 21 to start with.

      You don’t think the UN people and their allies will live like this do you?
      Like Michelle Obama and schoolkids – her kids get the best real food, the US taxpayer gets culinary dross.

      Reply
  7. scott

    It could be worse they could put grape jelly beans or jolly ranchers on their plate instead of egg plant, especially since the anointed believe they are that stupid.

    Reply
  8. Bernardo

    The fact that they spent millions just to come up with an idea like that should be motive for a criminal investigation. That’s what I always say, the worst kind of corruption is the one that is made legally and oficially, for allt o see. It’s just a way to fund the egos and lifestyles of incompetent people.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I agree, but first let’s go after the people who spent nearly a billion dollars on a federal website that has no security and doesn’t work very well.

      Reply
  9. Dave

    Would I get to keep the Talking Shopping Cart, Tom? ‘Cuz I could really use a talking cart, especially one that cares so much about me.

    DAVE: (Pushing TSC around home) “…and this is the den, TSC. We’re changing the wallpaper. It’s a bit flowery. We’d prefer something that makes the upholstery pop.”
    TSC: (Sniffs derisively) “Yes. Well, tastes differ, I suppose. It’s a matter of refinement.”
    DAVE: “Aaaand THIS is the food pantry, where you’ll be staying!”
    TSC: (Cart locks its wheels) “You’re not serious? What is all that on the shelves?”
    DAVE: “Uh, it’s food.”
    TSC: “Not where I come from. Or was manufactured. Why isn’t that pasta there more whole grainy? And is that a bag a salt? What are you, a deer? Who are you to make such unhealthy nutrition choices? Why, you probably give your kids milk!
    DAVE: “Well, yes.”
    TSC: “How dare you, sir! You disgust me! I’m leaving.”
    DAVE: “I’m sorry. I’ll walk you back to the market.”
    TSC: “Don’t bother. I’ll call for a cab. Or a bigger cart.”

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Now why am I picturing you pushing that cart towards a blast furnace while the cart is saying, “What do you think you’re doing, Dave?”

      Reply
  10. tony

    Can you imagine the cacophony at the market with all those talking carts? I wouldn’t be surprised some shoppers would go postal.

    And the way people bang shopping carts in the grocery’s parking lot would force the store to hire full time repair technicians.

    Reply
  11. PJ (RightNOW)

    This is obscure: I once read an article on how humans are actually naturally, subconsciously, far less likely to be drawn to any food that is blue or purple because, in nature, aside from blueberries and eggplant, almost nothing is and some things that are, are poisonous.

    I’m sure that is completely unrelated.

    Eventually grocery stores will only hire people who have a certificate in a paid training course for Official MyPlate Knowledge you realize. So they can proselytize to customers.

    Sometimes I feel like we are in this giant complex version of Robert DeNiro’s experience in the movie BRAZIL.

    Reply
    1. Elenor

      “hire people who have a certificate in a paid training course for Official MyPlate Knowledge”

      They don’t need to hire them, they can just switch over the Obamacare “guides” — oh, what I am writing; of COURSE they’ll want to hire additional new ones…. Nevermind.

      Reply
  12. PJ (RightNOW)

    This is obscure: I once read an article on how humans are actually naturally, subconsciously, far less likely to be drawn to any food that is blue or purple because, in nature, aside from blueberries and eggplant, almost nothing is and some things that are, are poisonous.

    I’m sure that is completely unrelated.

    Eventually grocery stores will only hire people who have a certificate in a paid training course for Official MyPlate Knowledge you realize. So they can proselytize to customers.

    Sometimes I feel like we are in this giant complex version of Robert DeNiro’s experience in the movie BRAZIL.

    Reply
    1. Elenor

      “hire people who have a certificate in a paid training course for Official MyPlate Knowledge”

      They don’t need to hire them, they can just switch over the Obamacare “guides” — oh, what I am writing; of COURSE they’ll want to hire additional new ones…. Nevermind.

      Reply
  13. PJ (RightNOW)

    I just realized that while it is missing theology, we have now actually moved to a “cult” approach. The entire environment is structured and planned, there is doctrine and indoctrination, there are people as “monitors” who will helpfully tell you if you stray across a behavioral line, there is even corrective electronic surveillance aka “helpful grocery baskets” to guide your behavior.

    Reply
  14. Trevor

    Even if the USDA weren’t operating on nutritional BS, this report is so outlandishly stupid and condescending, it could almost be the plot of a satirical comedy about a dystopian nanny state.

    Reply
  15. Trevor

    Even if the USDA weren’t operating on nutritional BS, this report is so outlandishly stupid and condescending, it could almost be the plot of a satirical comedy about a dystopian nanny state.

    Reply
  16. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I keep having visions of being banned from our local grocery store because we rarely purchase food there – when you have 13 raised beds, all busy growing vegetables, berries and melons in your back yard, belong to a CSA and purchase all of your meat, eggs and dairy directly from local farmers, the grocery store almost becomes obsolete. You tend to only purchase laundry detergent, toilet paper and dry roasted cashews; our carts would short circuit.

    Reply
  17. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I keep having visions of being banned from our local grocery store because we rarely purchase food there – when you have 13 raised beds, all busy growing vegetables, berries and melons in your back yard, belong to a CSA and purchase all of your meat, eggs and dairy directly from local farmers, the grocery store almost becomes obsolete. You tend to only purchase laundry detergent, toilet paper and dry roasted cashews; our carts would short circuit.

    Reply
  18. Jill

    In Australia, a billionaire wants people on welfare to receive healthy cards with little to no discretionary spending allowed so they only buy healhty stuff, no cigarettes, drugs, alcohol or gambling.
    This plan was originally designed and worked for specific Aboriginal townships with enormous problems and the women supported this.

    I wondered how long it would take for someone to want to apply it nationwide.
    I’m not a fan of cigs, alcohol etc but I do object to full on control of welfare recipients.

    Designated shops tend to be very expensive, you can’t save for a course should you be so inclined and the freedom thing is curtailed.
    It’s designed of course to get you off welfare ASAP but few people enjoy being on welfare anyway.
    For older people, there a re few jobs, for the entrepreneurial ones you still need savings.
    To me this is thin-end-of-the-wedge Agenda 21 readiness stuff, more control.

    Reply
    1. SB

      So show up, swipe your card when purchasing produce, and then don’t swipe when buying regular stuff. You are not kidding though, glad my employer doesn’t care what I eat.

      Reply
  19. Jeff

    I didn’t read all the replies here, but I did read your blog entirely. It smacks of the EXACT article Time magazine ran a while back, of which I now regret not swiping from my doctor’s office.

    While in the waiting room I noticed an issue of Time magazine that had its featured cover article on the spiraling epidemic of heart disease and diabetes in the United States. I read the entire article rather quickly (not knowing when I was going to be called back for my appointment) and it dove into varied synopsis from all kinds of notables such as the American Heart Association, etc. and in the end of it all, a definitive conclusion was reached. It literally suggested that Americans were just to stupid (or lazy) to implement ALL of the USDA and AHA”s reccomendations and guidelines and hence that is the reason why weight and diabetes continues to climb.

    Hmm…”Oh wait! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” which of course we know to be that their plan is flawed from its food pyramid base on up and why shouldn’t be? It’s all based on phony “facts” anyways, and ironically The Annointed continue to run on their hamster wheel with Ancel’s papers firmly intact in their back pockets all the while to this day complaining as to how stupid The Non-Annointed truly are.

    How ironic.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Was that the TIME magazine cover story titled “Eat Butter”? I meant to grab that one and forgot.

      Reply
  20. Jeff

    I didn’t read all the replies here, but I did read your blog entirely. It smacks of the EXACT article Time magazine ran a while back, of which I now regret not swiping from my doctor’s office.

    While in the waiting room I noticed an issue of Time magazine that had its featured cover article on the spiraling epidemic of heart disease and diabetes in the United States. I read the entire article rather quickly (not knowing when I was going to be called back for my appointment) and it dove into varied synopsis from all kinds of notables such as the American Heart Association, etc. and in the end of it all, a definitive conclusion was reached. It literally suggested that Americans were just to stupid (or lazy) to implement ALL of the USDA and AHA”s reccomendations and guidelines and hence that is the reason why weight and diabetes continues to climb.

    Hmm…”Oh wait! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” which of course we know to be that their plan is flawed from its food pyramid base on up and why shouldn’t be? It’s all based on phony “facts” anyways, and ironically The Annointed continue to run on their hamster wheel with Ancel’s papers firmly intact in their back pockets all the while to this day complaining as to how stupid The Non-Annointed truly are.

    How ironic.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Was that the TIME magazine cover story titled “Eat Butter”? I meant to grab that one and forgot.

      Reply
  21. Jeff

    Actually, no. It was way before that article ran. It was about a year before Time ran that article on eat butter.

    Tom, since you didn’t catch the now infamous Time butter issue, just drop me a PM and I’ll send it to you for your perusal. Not a problem!

    Reply
  22. Jeff

    Actually, no. It was way before that article ran. It was about a year before Time ran that article on eat butter.

    Tom, since you didn’t catch the now infamous Time butter issue, just drop me a PM and I’ll send it to you for your perusal. Not a problem!

    Reply

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