Food-Safety Agencies Team Up, Find Unbelievably Stupid New Way to Waste Money

The goal of a new, joint USDA/FDA/CDC marketing campaign, Food Safe Families, is to "illustrate safe food handling tips, and to convey that food poisoning is a relevant issue." The ads putatively remind eaters to cook food, chill it, separate certain foods, and clean food surfaces.

But any chance the four bizarro, non sequitur Ad Council spots actually convey such messages is pretty slim. But don't take my word for it! Here's "Cook."

Other spots here.

Food-safety advocate Marion Nestle, not exactly the biggest critic of government spending on food regulation, wonders what exactly this project that "reportedly cost $2 million" will accomplish. She refers to the pig spot as "[h]umorous maybe, but how will it convince anyone to clean up the kitchen?" It won't of course.

Frankly, when it comes to pigs in saunas, I prefer this meta work of art, Pigs in a Sauna, by "Storyteller and Miniaturist" Wanna in El Paso. Look closely: the miniature pigs are in a pig sauna!

I should note that Pigs in a Sauna has nothing at all to do with the government's latest food-safety campaign. That said, it is as likely as is the government campaign to help people cook food safely, and probably did not cost taxpayers $2 million.

Baylen Linnekin is a lawyer and the executive director of Keep Food Legal, a nonprofit that promotes culinary freedom, the idea that people should be free to make and consume whatever commestibles they prefer. For more information and to join or donate, go here now.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Old Mexican||

    That said, it is as likely as is the government campaign to help people cook food safely, and probably did not cost taxpayers $2 million.


    A planet where government agencies waste money in useless projects?

  • ||

    Did anyone see the federal government's replacement for the "food pyramid?" You know, the one that tells us to eat lots of flour and starches? It is a plate divided into four sections. Cost to come up with it was around $2 million dollars--to draw a circle and divide it into four sections.

  • ||

    I've been recently working with census demographic data. The 2010 data has its own, new website. The 2000 data's site was simple, clean, and easy to find exactly what you wanted with. The 2010 is a fucking retarded, absolutely counter-intuitive piece of absolutely maddening shit. And one that uses all kinds of custom controls and other shit that clearly cost millions. Millions to give some terrible, terrible web developers with no UI sense at all a job and make using the site infuriating.

    I guarantee you that this is everywhere because of the "stimulus" money. Everywhere, including fucking stupid FDA ads.

  • ||

    You know, I am stimulated by all of these expenditures. Stimulated to hate government power and waste all the more. So, in that respect, the stimulus is a resounding success!

  • ||

    Seriously, dude, if you saw how incredibly stupid their design of this web site is, and if you knew proper web site design (as we all know you don't after the "black background on Urkobold" debacle), it would make your blood boil with the transparent waste of money. They took something that they actually had pretty right (rare for government work) and "stimulated" it right into the shitter. It's the perfect exemplification of the Obama administration.

  • ||

    My experience in DC and with state governments suggests that they usually don't get IT much at all. They also have a yen for trying to create standards by freezing everything in a moment in time. It'd likely be all FTP and Gopher now if they'd had their way in the 90s.

  • robc||

    Im glad Im not the only one.

    And when are they gonna release all the fucking data? How hard can it be?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Pablo,

    Cost to come up with it was around $2 million dollars--to draw a circle and divide it into four sections.


    Yes, amazing. I could have done the exact same thing for much less money... Say, $1.5 million dollars.

  • ||

    Well it was a wheel first, then a pyramid, now a round plate. Maybe if it comes in a new shape no one will be fat or diabetic.

  • Eleutheros||

    The wheel also listed "Butter" as one of the main food groups. Now those were the days.

  • Abdul||

    So how am I supposed to enjoy some nice ham tartare?

  • PIRS||

    "Food-Safety Agencies Team Up, Find Unbelievably Stupid New Way to Waste Money"

    If I am forced to give money to a government, I would much rather that government waste it than use it efficiently to oppress us or kill people.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Good point. It's a small saving grace that the government is inefficient in all that it does, including crushing our souls.

  • ||

    lol, waste money, thats what Government does best. Its the American way!

    www.total-privacy.se.tc

  • Sinic||

    food poisoning is a relevant issue

    Relevant to not having their budget cut next year maybe.

  • ||

    Sometimes I think Andy Kaufman is alive and well and working for the government.

  • ||

    You know why the birth certificate was forged? Because it didn't say Barack Hussein Obama. It said Andrew Geoffrey Kaufman. [Cue dramatic music and staggered close-up.]

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That pigs in a sauna spot seems insensitive in light of all those people that died in that sweat lodge explosion or whatever it was.

  • T||

    There's enough procine-americans running around these days to make any references to pigs suspect.

  • Number 2||

    Hey, it's better than those "the cops are cracking down" commercials the feds run every holiday season.

  • ||

    I find those absolutely infuriating. If something is truly dangerous to public safety, for God's sake, you don't have to take out a TV ad to tell people not to do it. Whoever came up with the idea of taking out ads to terrorize innocent people in a supposedly free country ought to be first up against the wall.

  • Stephanie White||

    Interesting. My guess is that agribusiness has an interest in reframing food safety issues as one of personal responsibility, rather than one that is inherently associated with an industrial food system. They are deflecting scrutiny.

    By the way, I am in disagreement that the answer is in further regulating the current food system. In my opinion, strengthening parallel local and regionalized food systems, and encouraging more community ownership of food production, processing and consumption is the way to go. The current agri-industrial food system is faulty at it’s core. It’s inherently broken. Trying to fix it with more regulations is a band-aid solution.

  • ||

    Hurray for you, Stephanie.

  • Stephanie White||

    *curtsies*

  • Greer||

    Doesn't this video suggest that the proper cooking temp for pork is 90ish degrees?

  • ||

    Pork is now safe. Eat it raw. Enjoy yourself.

  • ||

    This is more pointless stupidity from government employees, along the lines of that idiotic "parasites are cool guys!" march during the Colbert/Stewart rally last year.

  • Bee Tagger||

    This either kowtows to Muslims or is virulently anti-Muslim. Could someone let me know the political make-up of the ad creators so that I can properly align my anger?

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement