Who Will Save Our Precious Children from the Vile Purveyors of Cranberry Juice?

I don’t know about you, but whenever I see fat kids waddling around with their parents at the grocery store or the movie theater, I think to myself, “They need to lay off the cranberries.”

No, of course not, but that’s the latest potentially stupid outcome as the federal government continues to screw around with school food options in their efforts to fight childhood obesity. Via USA Today:

To address childhood obesity in America, an effort spurred by first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative, the Department of Agriculture is finalizing guidelines for what can be sold in school vending machines, stores and a la carte cafeteria lines. Sugar is widely viewed as a target, and sweetened beverages like cranberry juice cocktail could be deemed unhealthy.

That would be unfortunate and unfair, cranberry industry officials say, because the tart, deep red fruit is loaded with nutrients and health benefits. But for consumers to avail themselves of those benefits, cranberries must be sweetened.

The fear is that cranberry juice will be lumped in with soda because of the sugar content. The health benefits of cranberries are apparently not relevant, just that it has too much sugar for the government.

In yet another example of government interference creating a market for even more government lobbying, fears of a school ban have resulted in the creation of the Congressional Cranberry Caucus. Cranberry farming interests are relying on support of U.S Congress members from their home states fighting to keep cranberry juice available in schools:

"Given the beneficial and scientifically proven health properties of cranberries, we believe there is a need to establish clear standards that recognize cranberries as a part of a healthy diet," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We ask that you consider including a variety of cranberry juice and dried cranberry products in USDA's food nutrition program so that children, seniors and adults served by these programs are not denied benefits unique to cranberries."

The lawmakers sent a similar letter to the first lady, pointing out cranberries "contribute to whole body health, particularly urinary tract health and the potential to fight cancer and other diseases."

But who would dare speak against the cranberry, allegedly introduced to colonists by Native Americans and sometimes used in pemmican, the ancestor of our beloved Slim Jims?

USA Today sought out the Center for Science in the Public Interest, always good when a libertarian needs somebody to make him or her want to punch a wall:

"There's some evidence to show that cranberry juice can prevent urinary tract infections, but that doesn't mean everyone should be drinking cranberry juice every day," said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Only 3 percent of kids a year have urinary tract infections, compared to one-third who are overweight. Urinary tract infection is not a booming epidemic. Obesity is."

Incidentally, well aware of growing sensitivity to sugar content, Ocean Spray introduced a diet version of its juices years ago, replacing the sugar with Splenda. I live off the stuff at home, due to taking personal responsibility for reducing my sugar and caffeine content and not needing the first lady to explain to me how basic nutrition works.

Also as a reminder, the potential ban of cranberry juice falls into one of the problems alluded to in a study analyzing the consequences of banning junk food in California schools. Even though kids were consuming fewer calories in school, the nutritional benefits of the food they were eating weren’t any better. Banning cranberry juice because it has something unwanted (sugar) and ignoring the nutritional benefits (antioxidants and vitamin C) is an elegant example of this consequence.

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  • T||

    I live off the stuff at home

    Mixed with vodka, I bet, you cosmotarian, you.

  • Mike M.||

    Let's move... the disgusting pig Michelle Obama and her big fat ass out of office.

  • ||

    The worst part is she isn't even in office. To paraphrase Eddie Murphy her only job is to fuck her husband. Nobody elected her to do shit.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The SoS agrees with you.

  • The Hammer||

    She's probably getting a decent salary from the campaign to come up with creepy ways of making the rest of the country feel like they are part of the marriage.

  • ||

    Does she get payed by the campaign when she talks to audiences?

    I always wondered how politicians become millionaires while in office.

    Do they just get rich by funneling money they raise in campaigns to their wallets?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    If you know what legislation will go through, you have a good idea how it will affect investment prices, and when.

  • ||

    her only job is to fuck her husband.

    Rumor has it that Hilary was terrible at her job.

  • Brutus||

    She was a dodger, forcing Bill into the arms of non-dodger Monica.

  • ||

    Seeing competing lobbies battling it out is both amusing and sickening. It was only a matter of time until all the special interests ran out of unclaimed territory to snatch and started going to war.

  • ||

    "I fought with your father during the Lobbyist Wars."

  • Pro Libertate||

    Who knew the Lobbyists were going to betray us? I, for one, was shocked.

  • Matrix||

    Know what else is a growing epidemic? Nanny statist bullshit!

  • Pro Libertate||

    You ever drink pure cranberry juice?

  • ||

    I have. Personally, I like it, but I like bitter/sour flavors.

  • Pro Libertate||

    As have I. I can tolerate it, but it's a bit much. My wife hates it but drinks it for health reasons on occasion.

  • Mo' $parky||

    I've never had unsweetened juice but I've eaten raw cranberries. Like Epi I'm a fan of sour so I thought they were great.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Most of the Ocean Spray stuff is only about 10% cranberry juice. Personally, I don't see a great benefit to it, antioxidants and vitamin C you can get in capsules with fewer calories.

    If you like it, drink it. Or reach for a soda. Perhaps they should bar only the fat kids or diabetic kids from buying it. Diet soda, ice tea or perrier water all make calorie free substitutions that go well with food if you are overweight. But not ALL kids are overweight, so Michelle please lay off!

  • hotsy totsy||

    Most of the Ocean Spray stuff is only about 10% cranberry juice. Personally, I don't see a great benefit to it, antioxidants and vitamin C you can get in capsules with fewer calories.

    If you like it, drink it. Or reach for a soda. Perhaps they should bar only the fat kids or diabetic kids from buying it. Diet soda, ice tea or perrier water all make calorie free substitutions that go well with food if you are overweight. But not ALL kids are overweight, so Michelle please lay off!

  • ||

    Yes, almost all women get urinary tract infections.
    But seriously, tell her to try the cranberry extract pills. They work better, and are easier to swallow.

  • R||

    You know who else drinks unsweetened cranberry juice?

  • ||

    Bristol Palin?

  • Agammamon||

    Anybody know where to get some cranberry juice without quite so much sugar? The stuff I can get in my local markets is sugared for a kid's palate.

  • ||

    The stuff I can get in my local markets is sugared for a kid's palate

    I can't handle pure cranberry juice and I think i have an adult's palate.

    Also I really can't imagine myself drinking even sugared Cranberry juice as a kid.

    One thing that is good is unsugared cranberry juice mixed with another juice.

    Why can't i get cran/orange juice?

    It tastes great but you have to mix it yourself....and you are right regular unsugared cranberry juice is hard to find.

  • ||

    I have. It's almost undrinkable.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Incidentally, obesity isn't an epidemic. It's a choice. A dumb one, but there you are.

  • The Hammer||

    But "epidemic" sounds scarier.

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Incidentally, obesity isn't an epidemic. It's a choice. A dumb one, but there you are.

    Obesity is not a choice when they feed you ass-backward information on what makes you gain weight, and what helps you lose weight. Look up a BMI calculator, put in your height and a BMI of 55.5 and you'll see where I was 8 years ago. Fewer calories in and more exercise? I was on 1000 Calories a day and exercising two hours a day and couldn't lose weight. That bullshit just worked up my apetite!

  • Copernicus||

    I call "bullshit".
    You DID NOT eat just 1000 calories/day and exercise 2 hours/day and NOT lost weight.

  • Copernicus||

    *lost = lose

  • kinnath||

    Some cranberries, cranberry honey, water, and yeast -- lovely.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    "not needing the first lady to explain to me how basic nutrition works."

    Does she have a degree in nutrition? If not, why should anyone listen to her? All Top Men and Top Women have academic credentials in their field of specialty to which we should bow down and obey.

  • Agammamon||

    Well she does have the innate intellignce required to spend a fuckton of money on a college degree that got her a job that paid so well it took 10 years to pay off the debt.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Ah, but it put her in a position to bag the future president. So it was worth it.

  • guitargeek||

    Someone should sue her for practicing nutrition without a license.

  • PapayaSF||

    "Only 3 percent of kids a year have urinary tract infections, compared to one-third who are overweight. Urinary tract infection is not a booming epidemic. Obesity is."

    And the contribution of cranberry juice to obesity is... what?

  • ||

    Only 3 percent of kids a year have urinary tract infections, compared to one-third who are overweight. Urinary tract infection is not a booming epidemic. Obesity is

    Doesn't sour tasting foods/drinks suppress apatite? And sweet and sour also suppress it...only better?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    Nope. People get hungrier smelling and tasting sweet foods and drinks as the body prepares to be fed. Even simply thinking about food causes release of saliva, stomach acid and insulin.

  • ant1sthenes||

    To just take statism as a given, for a second, wouldn't it make more sense to assign a minimum nutrient density to the foods rather than micromanage calories or sugar or whatever? If they can't control the number of portions people eat, then raising average nutrient density in foods consumed would seem to have the most practical impact on health.

  • GILMORE||

    My girlfriend drinks it when she gets her period.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I have never cared for cranberries,however, and as most of my posts seem to start, I was in a bar the other week and some cute little Bacardi girls were there passing out free drinks. Evidently, Barcardi is tired of the vodka folks cornering the market on flavored booze so they've come up witj some of their own. The girls were passing out drinks made with a Blueberry rum called Bacardi Wolfberry. It was mixex with cranberrie juice and sprite. I'm a beer drinker but I'm not one to turn down free booze. It was pretty outstanding I'll say. I have plans to make a pitcher this weekend in fact.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I have never cared for cranberries,however, and as most of my posts seem to start, I was in a bar the other week and some cute little Bacardi girls were there passing out free drinks. Evidently, Barcardi is tired of the vodka folks cornering the market on flavored booze so they've come up witj some of their own. The girls were passing out drinks made with a Blueberry rum called Bacardi Wolfberry. It was mixex with cranberrie juice and sprite. I'm a beer drinker but I'm not one to turn down free booze. It was pretty outstanding I'll say. I have plans to make a pitcher this weekend in fact.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Damn I didnt even hit submit twice.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Typical busybodyism. Why can't the Teams just leave grown adults the fuck alone?

  • ||

    Top men and women will save us. Ignore the fact that they don't know what the hell they'e talking about they're basing their diet recommendations on lobbying and bullshit science funded by vested interests.

  • ||

    The amount of cranberry juice in your average cranberry juice cocktail drink will NOT prevent UTIs. I know this from personal experience.

    In order to get the benefit, you either have to drink a LOT of raw, bitter, pure, cranberry juice or (preferably) take cranberry extract pills. The extract pills really do work.

    Drinking cranberry juice cocktail that you get off the grocery shelf is a scam. Most of that shit is apple juice mixed with various other fruit flavorings.

  • NL_||

    They won't ban cranberry juice until poor people start drinking it.

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