Posted on February 27, 2015



Casus Belly

Gov’t will dictate our eating habits


Daniel Clark



As if the mere existence of a federal entity called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee wasn’t chilling enough, just wait until you see the suggestions that body is making to the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services.  The DGAC is proposing that Washington dictate our eating habits through coercion, and stating this goal as if it were as innocuous a governmental function as the issuing of a new stamp.

In what it calls its 2015 “Scientific Report” (and who wants to oppose “science?”), the DGAC “highlights the major diet-related health problems we face as a Nation and must reverse.”  It goes on to observe that, “The dietary patterns of the American public are suboptimal,” and that, “few improvements in consumers’ food choices have occurred in recent decades.”

“Furthermore, more than 49 million people in the United States, including nearly 9 million children, live in food insecure households.”  If an unsupportable gobbledystat like that doesn’t justify immediate federal intervention, what does?  No wonder the report’s Executive Summary concludes that, “In order for policy recommendations such as the Dietary Guidelines for Americans to be fully implemented, motivating and facilitating behavioral change at the individual level is required.”

Not only must “behavioral change” be initiated for the sake of our own health, but it’s also needed, as if you hadn’t already guessed, for the purpose of combating “climate change.” After defining “sustainable diets” as diets “higher in plant-based foods,” the DGAC asserts that “the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact [than any of the plant-based diets] in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use.”  Even if one were to accept the premise that individual Americans’ health is the government’s responsibility, this intrusion of environmental activism corrupts the report by overtly introducing an ulterior motive.

Even if we wanted Uncle Sam-I-Am to make us healthier, how could we ever trust it to do so while also attempting to use our dietary choices as a means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions?  No truly “Scientific Report” that was trying to accomplish either one of those goals would ever combine them.  Logically, there’s no reason those two agenda items must necessarily arrive at the same endpoint.  It could just as plausibly be that many of the most healthful foods are ones whose production results in an increase of atmospheric CO2 and methane.

Where the causes intersect is in the prescribed means of achieving their respective outcomes.  According to the left-wing totalitarians who masquerade as the voices of science, both “climate change” and suboptimal dietary patterns call for the suppression of individual freedoms by a supposedly benevolent central authority.  It is quite obvious that this consolidation of control by the collective over the individual is itself the end, and not just a means to it.

Okay, one might say, so there are lots of insignificant little busybodies toiling anonymously away in some forgotten nook of our federal labyrinth, occasionally producing a document like the Dietary Guidelines in order to lend a facade of officialdom to their delusions of grandeur.  But what power do they actually have?  By themselves, none.  Their role is to contrive an impetus for bureaucrats and legislators who were already determined to dictate our behavior, but want it to look like they’re being compelled by “science.”

Don’t think the government can tell you what to eat?  Ask yourself if rising beef prices have dissuaded you from buying a steak or a pound of ground round during the past year.  How much less might you consume on an annual basis if a punitive meat tax were imposed?  Add to that the inevitable new regulatory burdens on food producers.  Big-government thugs have already intimidated many of them into reducing the amount of salt in their products, including Heinz ketchup and Olive Garden restaurants.  Think of the possibilities if the food fascists set their sights on red meat.

Beef raviolis could soon be as thin as Necco wafers.  Beef vegetable soup might have roughly the same meat content as “pork n’ beans.”  If McDonalds still exists, you’ll find yourself ordering a “Royale with cheese,” because it’s not a quarter-pound anymore.  Before you know it, you’ll have adopted a “plant-based diet,” without having taken a single conscious step in that direction.

If you’re still having trouble imagining what that would be like, keep in mind that a place already exists in which governmental authority figures require “behavioral change” of the grown people who inhabit their domain.  It’s called prison.



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