Ghosts of the USDA
Ghosts of the USDA
By Michael Shannon
When the WoePost will stop haunting readers with stories of the Department of Agriculture's brutal forced migration from Washington to the primitive hellscape of Kansas City?
This week, it's low moans from former researcher Andrew Crane-Droesch, who tries to convince us moving his department was loss to research that rivaled the burning of the library in Alexandria.
Egypt, not Virginia.
If I'm reading Andrew correctly, humanity managing to feed itself over the centuries without the help of scientists at the USDA was just a lucky fluke. "Humanity's dependence on the environment is made explicit through our food systems," he writes, "without the right combination of weather, soil and labor, nobody eats."
When bureaucrat uses the word "systems" it means the topic is too complicated for mere farmers or other laymen to understand. As Andrew explains, "...they need experts to make sure that food systems work efficiently and public funds are spent effectively."
I'm going to interrupt here before Andrew tells us how many times to chew each bite of the "food system" before swallowing. Instead, let's look at what USDA scientific "experts" and their research brought us in the past.
In a mere 40 years, USDA "expert" researchers helped the U.S. waddle away with the prize for the fattest nation on earth. Then we ate the trophy. USDA research quacks and food fanatics are single-handedly responsible for the obesity crisis that has made type 2 diabetes the trademark affliction of the U.S. welfare state.
Their fraudulent "food pyramid" upended the food industry, bloated millions, cost billions and it was all based on "settled science" that was dangerously wrong.
Reduce saturated fat intake to 10 percent? Wrong. Cut back on salt until corned beef is only a memory? Wrong. Increase carbohydrate intake until you look like a stuffed shell? Wrong.
According to the Daily Mail: "A new review says evidence from [medical research] trials did not support the advice. It says it is 'incomprehensible' that such advice was introduced for ...220 million Americans . . . 'given the contrary results from a small number of unhealthy men.'"
Two generations now have no idea what a decent steak tastes like due to our current "food system." A vile cabal of granola-heads and the USDA ruined beef. Instead of corn-fed beef that produced tender, marbled steaks - USDA anti-fat crusaders gulled beef producers into going back to "natural" grass-fed beef.
Now we can enjoy the same type of tough, stringy beef Augustus McRae and Captain Call ate in Lonesome Dove. The agency's motto should be: The USDA - Making It Easy to Go Vegan!
Andrew also has the strange belief that taxpayers are penalized when duplication and empire-building are eliminated. "The team that studies patent law and innovation is gone. Experts on trade and international development, farm finance and taxes all left. The publishing staff all left, delaying dozens of reports on subjects from veterans' diets to organic foods."
Where to begin? Patent law and innovation belong in the lethargic hands of the USTPO. Trade and international development belong to Commerce and the State Dept. Publishing is handled by the Government Printing Office. The only entry in that laundry list of waste and duplication that really belongs to the USDA is "farm finance and taxes" and I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt there.
As for the reports on "veteran's diets and organic foods [sic]", if the research is of the same quality that produced the food pyramid, I guarantee vets are better off without it.
The truth is his USDA research department was a nerd's playpen, "We loved ERS because it offered a rare degree of intellectual freedom, combined with the chance to make a real impact. We got to spend a great deal of our time pursuing research questions that we defined."
And all at taxpayer expense!
Andrew and his merry band of Resistors were another group of self-aggrandizing Truth Tellers to Power! "The Agriculture Department wanted to restrict access to food stamps, for example. According to our models ...food assistance programs were often a positive multiplier for local economies." As if any agency report in the history of bureaucracies ever found that a program comprising a large part of the agency budget was ineffective and counter-productive.
An estimated 141 of the 180 bureaucrats ordered on the march refused to budge. That's not a tragedy. That's a good start.
The USDA is a self-licking ice-cream cone that essentially pays one group of dependents to grow food and pays another group to eat it, all at incredible taxpayer expense. If an order to move west produced an 80 percent attrition rate in the rest of the agency it wouldn't occur a moment too soon.
Copyright 2019 Michael Shannon, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of "A Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times." He can be reached at email@example.com.
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