Politics

"Fed Up": Klobuchar and Harkin, distant neighbors

Amy Klobuchar, major disappointment

An interesting contrast that arises from “Fed Up,” the new documentary pitched as the “Inconvenient Truth” for food that had its Boston premiere on Wednesday at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) and Tom Harkin (Iowa) are Senate Democrats from neighboring Farm Belt states. Harkin is accorded sainthood status after decades-long efforts against childhood obesity. Of industry mouthpieces who come before him in committee and swear that, for example, that sugary beverages have no ill effect on children who drink them: “Sometimes I just want to ask: Do you have any shame at all? … How could these people sleep at night, knowing they were lying through their teeth? … How do they live with themselves?”

He also observes, “The Federal Trade Commission has less authority to regulate ads for kids than adults. You’d think it would be the other way around.”

But Klobuchar, who is included in the film’s closing graphics as one of a long list of voices who refused to be interviewed for the film, comes in for — as it seemed to me — a level of opprobrium slightly higher than she deserved, expressly because she was such a disappointment. As in, we expect Big Food to be this way, but you were supposed to be with us, with your female, progressive-leaning self.


Food-manufacturer responsibility: "It is not zero."

I do not have permission to post the following, and if the author, Paul McDonald — a lawyer, no less — wants me to take it down, I will. But I'm entirely in agreement with his views, and want to extend their reach by whatever small measure I can provide. This article was published on politico.com (maybe they'll object, too?), and I saw it via Michele Simon, a public-interest advocate I admire.

Opinion: Big Food bears some responsibility


Another pitch for the Rootstrikers

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

I've posted this before, and about this topic several times before, and may well again: I believe it's the No. 1 issue facing all Americans, and I believe it will only be solved when we demand that it be solved. Yes, that's somewhat unlikely in present-day America, but it's going to happen, because it has to.


Fix Congress first

Here's the problem: As I'm sitting here at my "coffice," about to tap out this post, and I hear a guy at the bar, vapidly chatting with the coffee stirrer to his left: "Yeah, I try not to turn on the news too much." No context, of course, but his solution is just not to listen. It's the "solution" for tens of millions of Americans.

But it's not a solution, because it doesn't solve.


What can the RD designation be worth?

[I originally published this post a year (and three days) ago, but I'm bumping it to the top because it fits the thread of discussion kindled by Michele Simon's Eat Drink Politics report of last week.]

Based on my early experience with them, and on what I've heard from others of their experiences, I have long held opprobrium for registered dietitians. But it has recently bubbled over again.


Wash. Monthly ag story illustrates the corruption of our politics

In Washington Monthly, reporter Lina Khan lays bare the scandalous treatment of the nation's farmers at the hands of Big Ag. The story shows that we've been here before, with a handful of meat companies controlling their suppliers' markets, which gives hope that we can escape this stranglehold again, as we did in the '20a.


It's enough to offend and anger; why doesn't it?

A persistent theme in my topics lately has been the hypocrisy and rank dishonesty of corporations and their spokesman, such as when they insist on the standard of personal responsibility, but refuse to take the same responsibility for their own actions.

On my way to another installment of that, I really want to ask: Why aren’t more people — most people! — offended when they are lied to and manipulated? Most people are, when they realize it, but somehow, when corporations do it ... all the time, it’s just business as normal.


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