Friday, August 7, 2009

More Misdirected Loyalty

Okay, enough bashing the FDA (for now).  Let's move on to the USDA. =)  The USDA is primarily responsible for keeping food sources safe, without diseases than can make people sick. They inspect fruits and plants brought in from foreign countries and preventing these from polluting the crops growing in the US. Except for a little sow manila and e-coli once in a while, they seem to be doing no worse a job than their counter parts abroad. As I recall, the former mentioned diseases spread across the globe. 

That said, why don't they just stick to their jobs of policing crops and not feel the need to tell us what and how much to eat?  If they are representing agriculture, naturally their primary interest is just that.  It seems to me that there should be impartial organization interested in our health to set the revered food standards by which we should live by.Harvard leading nutrition researcher Dr. Walter Willett concisely illustrates this detrimental conflict of interest: 

What's good for some agricultural interests isn't necessarily good for the people who eat their products. Serving two masters is tricky business, especially when one of them includes persuasive and well-connected representatives of the formidable meat, dairy, and sugar industries. The end result of their tug-of-war is a set of positive, feel-good, all- inclusive recommendations that completely distort what could be the single most important tool for improving your health and the health of the nation.

It's a scary reality indeed. But not to fear because there are researchers out there looking out for our needs and developing new safe, health promoting standards to follow.  One of the greatest new food pyramid I have discovered was conceived by Monica Myklebust, M.D., and Jenna Wunder, M.P.H., R.D from the University of Michigan School of Integrative Medicine (see above illustration).  The beauty of it is that, if followed, it acts as both preventative and healing medicine therefore lessening our dependance on pharmaceuticals. What a simple, logical, money-saving, health promoting way to live! "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates