While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales

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While browsing through the New York times website, I came across the above article that talks about the government program known as Dairy Management, which is a program within the Department of Agriculture. The article specifically addresses the recent deals that the Dairy Management program has made to promote cheese consumption with companies such as Dominoes and Taco Bell. These deals consist of money being given to these companies in exchange for their commitment to use more cheese and therefore boost dairy sales. The article also brings up the fact that the U.S. Agriculture Department has programs aimed at combating obesity and that subsidizing large amounts of cheese, which has been shown to be one of the leading sources of saturated fat for the American population, seems a contradictory aim. In my mind, this contradiction of goals brings up two main problems with out government system: a bureaucracy which is so packed full of specialized agencies that they trip over themselves and a government which is conflicted between the interests of corporations and the interests of the actual people. I see the necessity for specialized agencies because of the complexity of modern America. However I feel there should be more regulation of these agencies to ensure they are working with each other in order to achieve a higher efficiency in dealing with problems affecting the American public, such as obesity. As we've seen in Food Inc. and read about in The Omnivores Dilemma, the corporate food industry has a huge influence on government policy and this fact is distinctly seen in the Dairy Program's deals with both the fast food companies and the dairy "farmers" themselves. I've put farmers in quotations because after seeing the industrialized agriculture world as is shown in Food Inc., I have my doubts as to whether subsidizing cheese in fact aids individual farmers and rural communities, as the Dairy Program reasoned, or if it in fact helps the large corporations in control of most of the dairy market. One more interesting note brought up in the article is the fact that even after cheese was proven to not necessarily be healthy, the Dairy Program continued to advertise that it was in fact healthy by using outdated research. The use of such underhanded tactics to make money by a program within the government shows that government programs often deserved to be treated with as much suspicion as corporate America.

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This article is extremely frustrating and discouraging, in my opinion. The government and media in the United States is constantly scaring the public into thinking we are in an epidemic of fatness. We, as individuals, are said to be responsible for this humiliating sentence, when in fact our own government is subsidizing the very culprits of our fatness.
The weight of these big companies is out of control, and as a nation we have been left to educate ourselves on the true causes of our obesity. Our own government has knowingly false information. They have chosen to ignore their partial responsibility for our obesity and asked us to buy into all of their misleading and untrue claims.

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This page contains a single entry by black653 published on November 9, 2010 1:40 PM.

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