Thursday, May 8, 2008

the Food Pyramid, a bit more.

What I did not get especially involved with when I talked about the food pyramid was the servings, and the politics behind them.  If you look up at the pyramid you see plainly the biggest group is "Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta".  6-11 servings per day.  

Why were grains so heavily touted by the Pyramid?  The answer is tied up in Government Subsidies, primarily to the BIG 4 crops, Corn, Soy, Wheat, Rice and the resultant abundance of these crops.  The abundance, in order to not drive prices down to the basement, must be utilized.  So what have the agribusiness companies that produce these crops done?  They have recommended 6-11 servings of their bumper crops.

The incredible part of all this is that the subsidies have done nothing for actual farmers, instead they have lined the pockets of big businesses such as Monsanto and the big ol' CAFO producers (your friends, Cargill, ConAgra, Tyson and Smithfield).  Timothy Wise of Tufts University has a fantastic study that exposes the Oligopoly, check it out here.

Here's the kicker:  In the original food Pyramid, devised primarily by Dr. Luise Light, grains were only recommended at 3-5 servings.  It was fruits and veggies that the USDA should have recommended if they were to follow the advice of their own nutritionists.

Instead they allowed the entire structure of the Pyramid to be hijacked by big agri-business.  

Dr. Light writes all about the filthy mess here.

Be Well.

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