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Vegetarianism in the News


April 1, 2004 -- Vegparadise News Bureau

USDA Turns Food Pyramid Upside Down


USDA Food Pyramid

Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman announced today that the new USDA Food Pyramid that will be launched later this year will be a radical departure from the one issued in 1992.

"This pyramid will virtually turn the previous pyramid upside down," says Veneman. "Because of the current obesity epidemic, we need to take drastic measures that will place greater emphasis on healthier foods in our diet."

Unlike the previous pyramid, this new incarnation will place more emphasis on animal protein. Included will be more portions of Mad Cow Beef, Salmonella Chicken, and Mercury Fish. Fruits and Vegetables will be relegated to a small section at the base of the pyramid reserved for non-essentials in a wholesome diet.

This new pyramid is an outgrowth of numerous meetings of lobbyists from farm groups, chemical companies, and food manufacturers around the nation. As a result of these meetings, there will be a greater emphasis on highly processed, genetically modified foods, and a de-emphasis on organic foods.

For the first time partially hydrogenated and hydrogenated oils will have a special position on the food chart. Also receiving mention will be high fructose corn syrup as well as special categories for carbonated beverages, ice cream, candy, pies, donuts, and cakes.

After closed door meetings with Atkins Diet representatives, the USDA officials decided to remove dangerous carbohydrates like whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, starchy vegetables, and fruits from the pyramid. Ice cream, candy, pies, donuts, and cake will remain.

To reduce an odious wave of flatulence in our society, beans will no longer be included in the pyramid. One USDA official, preferring anonymity, described the emphasis on dry beans in the previous pyramid as "an ill wind that blew no good."

Members of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee have been holding meetings with the US Dairy Council. As a result of those meetings, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended that the new guidelines double the current recommended servings of dairy products from 2 to 3 each day to a new standard of 4 to 6 servings. In order to encourage greater cheese consumption, they will introduce a Recommended Daily Cheese Allowance (RDCA). Coincidentally, following these meetings, dairy farmers around the country made generous contributions to President Bush's reelection campaign.

The committee has received a number of suggestions about the shape of the pyramid. Some say the triangular shape should be continued, while others recommend it be discarded and replaced by another format like a food wheel, a square, a rectangle, and even a radiant pyramid with stripes for each food group. The most novel suggestion was to use a map of the United States with the meat servings placed in Texas, dairy servings in Wisconsin, lobster servings in Maine, and fruits and nuts in California.

When asked if the new food pyramid was a positive step forward in improving the health of the American public, Vice President Dick Cheney declared, "This new food pyramid is the best money can buy."


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