Farm Subsidies

Feds: Fatty Meat Is Bad for You. Now Shut Up and Eat Your Government-Provided Fatty Meat.

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A great catch by Cato's Sallie James, who notes these two news items from yesterday:

1) Don't eat fatty meat, say new US Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed guidelines:

[The report's] findings: People should consume more vegetables and whole grains, and less fatty meats, salt and sugar…The guidelines in turn will form the basis of the USDA's updated food pyramid, scheduled to be released in spring 2011. They also determine the nutrition standards for all federal nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, which feeds more than 30 million children a day.[emphasis James']

2) We will now use your taxpayer dollars to buy fatty meat, and then hand it off to the poorest, youngest, most obese segments of the population:

The U.S. Agriculture Department plans to buy as much as $14 million worth of dark meat chicken products to help producers facing a glut in stocks and decreasing prices, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on Tuesday…The government purchase… will be used by food banks, school lunch programs, and other food assistance programs.

As James notes, it's even the same agency in both cases.

Hey look, we made a video about this!:

NEXT: "If he did this to a city councilman and lied about the facts…imagine what he does to average citizens"

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  1. The U.S. Agriculture Department plans to buy as much as $14 million worth of dark meat chicken products to help producers facing a glut in stocks and decreasing prices,

    Yeah. God forbid that prices for chicken products (or any other food stuff we’re subsidizing) decrease and enable poor people to buy more or better quality goods.

    Sweet friggin’ Buddha.

  2. Eating fatty meat is not bad for you. Eating a shitload of bread and grains, like the food pyramid tells you to, is bad for you. Shut the fuck up, USDA.

    Consider a Porterhouse steak with a quarter-inch layer of fat. After broiling, this steak will reduce to almost equal parts fat and protein. Fifty-one percent of the fat is monounsaturated, of which 90 percent is oleic acid. Saturated fat constitutes 45 percent of the total fat, but a third of that is stearic acid, which will increase HDL while having no effect on LDL. The remaining 4 percent is polyunsaturated. In sum, perhaps as much as 70 percent of the fat content of a porterhouse steak will improve the LDL to HDL cholesterol ratio, compared with what they would be if carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes or pasta were consumed. All this suggests that eating a porterhouse steak in lieu of bread or potatoes would actually reduce heart-disease risk, although virtually no nutritional authority will say so publicly. The same is true for lard and bacon.

    1. Where did you get this from? My mom might need reminding why she always got my dad and I big fucking steaks instead of making us eat rabbit food (and a possible reason why she still has some trouble with her cholesterol, while my dad has done better).

      1. It’s from Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Everyone should read it.

        1. Seems counterintuitive to me. And the government does have that colorful pyramid…I think Warty is a shill for Big Fat.

        2. I’ve read Taubes’ book – and it is very much the work of someone with no knowledge or experience in the fields of nutrition and medicine. What he choose to miss out – which was a large chunk of the literature – exactly what you would expect from someone heavily invested in a controversial view. Medical literature is diverse, and there are many examples of coming to exactly the opposite view using the same type of heavily biased research http://www.cspinet.org/nah/11_02/bigfatlies.pdf

          1. If you’re going to argue from authority, pick a better authority than the CSPI.

            1. While I don’t agree with Taubes, who definitely cherry picks his data and ignores methodological flaws, using CSPI as an authority is a bad choice.

              1. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.

            2. I thought GCBC was amazing, but, you know, I’m willing to be talked out of it.

              If, after three facking years from the publication date, the best refutation is from the CSPI, then I’m willing to make Gary Taubes the Sun-God and Protector.

    2. Thank you. The Food Pyramid is pretty much a blueprint for becoming a fatass.

      1. Yes, a depressed fatass with diabeetus, a disease which really took off when people started eating all the high-carb stuff pushed by the food pyramid.

    3. I often ask people who act surprised when I have bacon for breakfast (though they are increasingly rare): what do you think has vastly more calories, my two eggs and 4 slices of bacon, or your stack of pancakes with maple syrup?

      Amazingly, they are completely astonished that the pancakes are vastly more. Because they’re morons.

      1. Fucking pancake eaters!

        1. Fat fucks!

      2. I bet those stupid fucks even use Bisquick, don’t they? Vile little pissants.

    4. The food pyramid works great. Just remove the bottom layer, and you’re set.

    5. awesome comment and you are completely right there was even a recent study publicized by I believe by the American Journal of Health that clearly stated that saturated fat was not the cause at all of high cholesterol or heart disease.

  3. Yes it is ridiculous, but no more so that government telling us to eat less sugar but subsidizing the corn syrup peddlers, or telling us to stop smoking while subsidizing tobacco farms.

    BTW the nutrition recommendations are BS. There is no evidence that reducing fat in one’s diet causes improved health or weight loss.

  4. This is reaaaaaaly stretching for a “gotcha”.

    For a 3oz. portion, chicken breast has about 3 grams of fat, and thigh has about 5 grams. Tasty beef brisket: 11 grams. 70% lean burger has 15 grams.

    It’s not like the plan is to feed the kiddies bacon fat, Katherine.

    1. Chin, they are talking the fatty dark meat from chicken, not the lean breast meat.

      1. Yes, I realize that. My point was that dark meat chicken is lean relative to other meat. In the case of the burger, it has 1/3 the fat.

        “OMG, teh Leviatron iz fatting teh kiddies!” is a vast overreaction to 2 grams of fat.

      2. The thigh is fatty dark meat.

  5. Speaking of fatty foods, here’s Julia Child’s Gratin Dauphinois.

    Ingredients:
    2 pounds starchy potatoes
    1 clove unpeeled garlic
    4 tablespoons butter
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/8 teaspoon pepper
    1 cup (4 ounces) grated Swiss cheese
    1 cup boiling milk or cream

    Method:
    1) Preheat oven to 425F. Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8 inch thick. Place in cold water. Drain when ready to use.
    2) Rub the baking dish with cut garlic. Smear the dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
    3) Drain the potatoes and dry them in a towel. Spread half of them in the bottom of the dish. Divide over them half the salt, pepper, cheese, and butter.
    4) Arrange the remaining potatoes over the first layer and season. Spread on the rest of the cheese and divide the butter over it. Pour on the boiling milk.
    5) Set the baking dish in upper third of preheated oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, the milk is absorbed, and the top is a golden brown.

    1. Liberace Cooks is an excellent source of similar recipes

      1. Liberace was a cook, eh? I’m really glad that such a book exists.

      2. Is it as good as Len Deighton’s Action Cookbook?

  6. Please, government, hurry and solve this horrendous catastrophe that BP has caused through profit-driven negligence. Then get out of ours lives (until we need you again). Stupid fucking libertarian twits.

    1. Edward, which do you prefer: being sodomized by horses, or having gerbils inserted into your rectum?

      1. The first one, please.

      2. I use to prefer horses, until an unfortunate accident involving myself and a friend at a farm near Seattle…

        1. But you digress…

          1. The first one, dammit!

    2. The worst oil spill in world history was by a government-owned and operated company from Mexico.

  7. But government regulation is an untrammeled good!

  8. Thank goodness we aren’t subsidizing sugar production in the Everglades to make candy for fat kids…

    1. God bless regulation! Please don’t take it away from us!

    2. We arent, we are subsidizing corn production in Iowa to make candy for fat kids.

      1. Corn syrup isn’t used in candy, it doesn’t work too well.

        What we’re doing with sugar is… complicated. We subsidize production but also keep the price high. The principle regulation is allowing sugar producers to use their sugar as collateral valued at a certain fixed price for loans from the USDA, then forfeit the sugar to keep the loans without penalty. In addition, there’s a quota.

        1. Also, our federal government sees fit to forbid the citizenry from purchasing sugar from Cuba.

      2. “We arent, we are subsidizing corn production in Iowa to make candy for fat kids.”
        um, that welfare corn goes into everything–chicken, eggs, and into an animal that can’t digest it, the cow. Except when they are feeding them Wrapped stale chewing gum. (self-packaging milk, anyone?) Read Michael A.Pollan, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”.

  9. NOW SHUT UP AND EAT YOUR GOVERNMENT-PROVIDED FATTY MEAT
    +
    power chisel
    =
    new Kennedy headstone

    Let’s do this.

  10. The Sugar Lobby is especially nasty. a few gigantic family-dynasty owned corporate farms control the entire sugar market. They’ve lobbied for import quotas on sugar and massive sugar subsidies. guess which states are the biggest sugar producers?

    Florida? guess again its Minnesota and states like north/south dakota. and its the wrong plant too. Taxpayer money is used to subsidize sugar beets, which are horribly inefficient compared to sugar cane….

    1. Talk like that could get you in trouble, I better not hear anymore out of you.

  11. The Sugar Lobby is especially nasty. a few gigantic family-dynasty owned corporate farms control the entire sugar market. They’ve lobbied for import quotas on sugar and massive sugar subsidies. guess which states are the biggest sugar producers?

    Florida? guess again its Minnesota and states like north/south dakota. and its the wrong plant too. Taxpayer money is used to subsidize sugar beets, which are horribly inefficient compared to sugar cane….

    1. I warned you.

  12. http://www.washingtontimes.com…..orn-cited/

    Anyone see this linked from Drudge? Check out this.

    “Imagery definitely affects children,” said Dr. Sharon Cooper, a forensic pediatrician and faculty member at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “Adult pornography is a good example of giving children unhealthy sexual images.”

    Pornography normalizes sexual harm, Dr. Cooper said. It shows children a lack of any kind of emotional commitment or relationship between two consensual partners, shows unprotected sexual contact and visual examples often of violent rape.

    “When a child sees this image of adult pornography, the mirror neurons that are in their brain will convince them that they are actually experiencing what they are seeing,” she said.”

    Did Dr. Cooper get her degree from a crackerjack box? I remember being a child. And growing up in the 70s and 80s was exposed to a lot of media. They had skinimax back then. But, I never recall thinking that I was actually experiencing the stuff I was watching. That is just insane. What the hell kind of study did she do to conclude that?

    1. Pornography normalizes sexual harm, Dr. Cooper said. It shows children a lack of any kind of emotional commitment or relationship between two consensual partners, shows unprotected sexual contact…

      There’s nothing harmful about this. What a maroon.

      1. Didn’t you understand her message? To children, seeing actors in a porno is the same thing as actually experiencing what they are seeing! Adult porn is child molestation! Won’t someone please, please think of the children!

    2. Pornography normalizes sexual harm, Dr. Cooper said. It shows children a lack of any kind of emotional commitment or relationship between two consensual partners, shows unprotected sexual contact and visual examples often of violent rape.

      FEAR
      FEAR
      FEAR SEX
      FEAR

    3. “Adult pornography is a good example of giving children unhealthy sexual images.”

      I don’t recall seeing “children’s pornography”. Are Shrek and Fiona getting it on?

    4. “The new definition of ‘love’ these days is sending a sexually explicit picture.”

      Obviously. Because it couldn’t possibly be a more technological version of “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” that kids have been doing since fucking forever.

      1. No one would show the larva Dr. Cooper theirs…

        1. Point taken.

    5. I used to watch the Three Stooges all the time, and I distinctly remember being hit in the head wiht a ball peen hammer…

    6. Perfect! So we should play medical shows in hospitals’ children wards and they will be cured. Much cheaper than this nonsense operations and medicines and whatevertherapy.

  13. Is this the Clinton/Tyson chicken lobby hen-pecking us again?

    I’m sticking with my Man v. Food diet.

  14. The guidelines in turn will form the basis of the USDA’s updated food pyramid, scheduled to be released in spring 2011.

    In the neme of all that is good, proper and holy can we please put the ficking food pyramid out of its misery?

    Somebody is going to go postal over the next version or two.

    1. Thousands of years from now they will ponder how we constrcuted those idiotic food pyramids.

      1. Remember when there were 4 food groups?

        1. Remember when there were 12?

      2. Well the government did such a great job improving the higher education market and the housing market, why not get them involved in nutrition as well?

        What could possibly go wrong?

    2. Pyramids are where they bury people. Or sacrifice them.

  15. I JUST WET MY PANTS!!

    How dare you fringe loonies question the USDA’s omnipotent food pyramid!!

    I’M STILL WETTING MY PANTS!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Did you drink your eight ounces a day all at once?

      1. Of gubmint approved beverage?

  16. Are Shrek and Fiona getting it on?

    Go ahead. Google it. I dare you.

  17. Good for you guys recognizing grains are bad.

    Eating fat isn’t bad as long as you’re active. People eat so many grains that your body adapts to using carbs as the main source of energy – ie, marathon runners “carbo-loading” before a marathon.

    If you stop eating so many carbs, your body will go back to using fat as the main source of energy.

    Also, apparently, people on low-carb diets can cause a false-positive on breathalyzers because their body goes into a state of ketosis and starts producing ketones, which can set the breathalyzer off…

    1. Eating grains as your main calorie source is OK as long as you’re disciplined – either voluntarily because you have a lot of self-control, or involuntarily because you’re a dirt-poor peasant in China or some other godawful place and you can’t afford enough food to get fat.

      1. For Warty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9kziQFhWzQ

        “For Thanksgiving, we had ‘taters
        succotash and rutabagas…”

        1. God, Clutch is awesome.

      2. There’s an argument that our bodies haven’t yet adapted to eating such large quantities of grain. It’s called the Paleo Diet and when on it, you basically don’t eat anything that a caveman wouldn’t have access to.

        So nothing processed and a lot of people like to cut diary out as well.

        You’re right about the poor part…grains became really popular because it was a cheap, efficient way to feed large numbers of people.

        The trend seems to be that

        1. JEP, read this paper. I thought the bit about how people’s health declined after they started farming was particularly interesting.

        2. It has nothing to do with adaptations to the food type, but the total quantity of calories we consume. People who try to look past this basic concept and focus on the macronutrient types tend to ignore the research that contradicts their view (Taubes). Early man was forced to MOVE for all of his food, shelter, tools, safety, etc., which is an expenditure of energy and creates a caloric deficit. Since food was not as prevalent, he likely went through periods of low caloric intake with interspersed high caloric intake.

          Macronutient types DEFINITELY affect our biochemistry, but this is not the same as “calories don’t matter”.

          1. It’s a good thing that no one says that calories don’t matter. What they do say is that different types of macronutrients affect our biochemistry in ways that make it easier or more difficult to stay lean.

            1. Sorry, but Taubes does make this implication.

              5. Obesity is a disorder of excess fat accumulation, not overeating, and not sedentary behaviour.

              His argument must imply that the excess fat is derived from circumventing the laws of thermodynamics.

              1. circumventing the laws of thermodynamics

                Horseshit:

                http://www.proteinpower.com/dr…..orge-bray/

                1. Horseshit:

                  http://www.proteinpower.com/dr…..orge-bray/

                  Not horseshit. This article doesn’t address anything. WHERE did the original excess fat accumulation derive, if not from overconsumption of calories? You can’t get excess fat accumulation from underconsuming.

                  If he were merely arguing that certain macronutrients affect our physiological responses (appetite, fatigue, etc.) then he would be correct, but Taubes tries to have the best of both worlds and claim that obesity is NOT from overeating, which is bullshit.

              2. You didn’t read his book. If you had, you’d remember that he talked about the laws of thermodynamics and defended himself extensively against that charge.

              3. explain how this violates the first, second, third, and zeroth laws

                1. The zeroth has always been my favorite law of thermodynamics.

          2. Calories do matter. For instance, I’ve gone through periods where I was consistently eating 6000+ calories a day in order to gain muscular body weight.

            If my energy expenditure plummeted, then I would swell up like a balloon, but since I was burning through maybe 80% of those calories everyday (and using the other 20% to recover and grow), then everything’s great.

            And adaptations to food type are extremely important. For instance, all this soy stuff. There’s an incredible amount of processing that occurs before humans are able to ingest soy products – therefore, it’s a safe conclusion that our bodies might not react well to thinks we aren’t supposed to be eating in the first place.

            1. And adaptations to food type are extremely important. For instance, all this soy stuff. There’s an incredible amount of processing that occurs before humans are able to ingest soy products – therefore, it’s a safe conclusion that our bodies might not react well to thinks we aren’t supposed to be eating in the first place.

              You can’t claim that this issue is “extremely important” yet base it on a weak assumption such as “might not react well to things we aren’t supposed to be eating in the first place”.

              If there is evidence of this, then show it, but I haven’t seen any compelling evidence to support it. Man, as a species, has survived eating minimal nutrients, contaminated foods, foods high in metals, etc. To think that processing is some “unnatural” insult to human physiology is a big leap. The most compelling evidence is that man has never had such AMOUNTS of food available to consume and the overconsumption of calories leads to inflammatory processes and obesity.

    2. I have noticed that libertarians seem to be more supportive of low carb diets, and low carbers are more likely to be libertarian. Something to do with being skeptical of authority and refusing to drink the Kool Aid.

      1. I dunno. I just follow my Mom’s non-college educated advice. Eat a balanced diet (meat, fruit and veggies, starch [spuds, grains etc.]and dairy) don’t overdo anything and prepare tasty meals.

        I’ve heard nothing better from the government or any of the diet fad books (~50 annually) yet.

      2. I originally became interested in the Atkins Diet when I found out Dr. Atkins was called to testify before Congress for going against the food pyramid. I have since moved on to the Primal Blueprint, which is a zero-grain low carb diet.

  18. JEP, read this paper. I thought the bit about how people’s health declined after they started farming was particularly interesting.

    Color me skeptical.

    Population increased, both absolutely and as a matter of density, as farming was adopted. How that’s consistent with the population being less healthy, I’m not sure. I guess you may be stuck with the argument that the ones who survived in hunter-gatherer societies were healthier.

    However, I also seem to remember reading somewhere that people in early farming communities tended to be a little bigger than their hunter-gatherer contemporaries.

    That said, I didn’t RTFA, either.

    1. Color me skeptical.

      If you didn’t RTFA, you won’t read this either, even though it’s more recent (2009, and still ongoing):

      http://global.sbs.ohio-state.edu/

      Also, from 1984, “Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture”:

      http://wholehealthsource.blogs…..ns-of.html

      1. I’d not be surprised that hunter gatherer societies were healtier than agriculural societies as long as you don’t factor in that starvation thingee.

        1. Sure. Farmers had a more dependable supply of lower-quality food, so their populations could increase faster than the bushmen, even if they were a little malnourished. Also, living in dense settlements alongside livestock made infectious disease a problem, whereas it really isn’t for cavemen.

          So farming was a winning strategy for societies as a whole, but made the lives of the individual people in those societies shittier. Except for that starvation thingy.

          1. Except for that starvation thingy.

            I just love arguments born out of taking prosperity for granted.

            Or is arguing over food an even lower form than academic politics?

            1. How does his argument take prosperity for granted today?

              1. That starvation thingy.

                For the vast majority of human history, people were more concerned with that than other more esoteric points about diet. So, it is only easy to argue those points now because starvation risk can be cast off with a semi-humorous aside. Hey, I think it’s wonderful we can argue from that perspective – at least for the moment. One really good asteroid and this whole conversation is a non-starter.

                1. It’s worth arguing about because it’s very possible the FDA is advocating a sub-optimal diet.

                  1. And you are going to take the FDA’s advice in either case?

                    I’m with J sub D on this. I’ll take mom’s advice over anything the govt says.

                    1. No, other people do though.

                    2. Ah, the classic line from a nanny-stater: not for me, but for thee.

                    3. What?

                    4. Your typical nanny-stater wants the govt all up your ass because SOMEONE ELSE (not necessarily you, and certainly not himself) needs that attention.

                      Other people listen to the FDA, so you want to argue about what the FDA has to say. Wouldn’t it just be easier (and more libertarian) to argue for shutting the FDA up?

                    5. The FDA is sometimes useful, sometimes useless, but mostly harmful. It should be abolished yesterday.

                      Does that tickle your taint?

    2. We don’t yet have the data to really look into it yet, but it would be interesting to look at things like disease, cancer, etc rates before and after the widespread adoption of sustainable grain agriculture.

      Grain allows us to feed large populations of people – as does many of the processing methods used to create food today – but the long term effects of what it does to the human body have never been quantified.

      So, in the long run, a certain food source could support greater population growth, but the individuals would have more health issues…

  19. Remember, the govt ALWAYS has your best interests in mind.

    [waves hand] There is no paradox.

  20. Warty, JEP, Rippetoe has a new article about how Nautilus’ commercial success limited all academic research to 8-10 rep machine exercises. Analogous to the food pyramid or is it a different phenomenon?

    1. I think that speaks more to most people’s ignorance to what weight lifting really is. Either that, or it’s probably just fucking hard to find a good population of Olympic lifters to do a study on.

      1. I didn’t mean oly lifting specifically, just that few studies even acknowledge the myriad differences between a 10 rep leg press and a 1RM squat or a 5k and HIIT. The systematic refusal to acknowledge what has been informally proven because something was really popular 30 years ago seems IMO strikingly similar to the pyramid devotion.

        1. The point that I was ineptly fumbling toward was that there are a giant fuckload of ways to exercise that exercise scientists (or, more likely, grant-givers) don’t know anything about. So the research money has settled on the lowest common denominator of exercise, which is the set of 10 reps on a stupid worthless Nautilus machine. There may also be liability concerns and such, since most people think that machines are safe and powerlifting (or oly, or kettlebells, or whatever) is scary and dangerous.

          In any case, anyone who uses a Nautilus machine ought to be ashamed of themselves.

          1. I should note that I’m just guessing. About the research, I mean, not that Nautilus machines are worthless.

          2. They’re not open to the idea that different exercises, reps, programming, etc. can vastly affect the adaptive response because they’re a generation removed from gyms filled with really strong guys sporting afros and staches. I think this is similar to how the enlightened take the pyramid as gospel despite the lack of evidence.

              1. Good stuff, especially:

                Begin a movement against the prevailing wisdom that “looking good” means being emaciated, gaunt, and undernourished

            1. Not man enough to go for 250, so my GOMAD days are long gone. Luckily one olympic day and one big 4 day per week can accommodate plenty of Guinness and Mongolian BBQ.

    2. Well hot shit,

      you guys know about Rippetoe, 70s Big, and Oly lifting, too.

      Most of the studies are done with isolation machines probably because the results are easier to quantify and the movement is strictly defined.

      A lot of the studies that are done on the “squat” can’t be taken seriously because the studies specifically describes what it’s considering a “squat.”

      Power and Oly lifting look really intimidating, but all it really takes is enough sense to not let a bar fall on top of you. Other than that, they’re natural movements, especially compared to isolation exercises.

      1. I understand the advantages of using leg extensions over squats, lunges,etc for research (though the 10 rep exclusivity escapes me). What I don’t understand is the near-universal refusal to admit that they’re a poor, but convenient, proxy for strength, power, and athleticism. Read the studies that “prove” that HGH has no impact on athletic performance, and you’ll see how bad it really is. (I have no opinion on HGH other than that the studies are horseshit.)

  21. Famed sound engineer and LSD chef Owsley “Bear” Stanley was an early advocate of an all-meat diet.

  22. Umm . . . dark poultry meat is LEAN not fatty . . . so kudos to the dumbass who wrote this article

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