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USDA Auctions Off Space on New Food Plate Design
6/9/2011 11:04 AM Coyle
In the latest scheme to help reduce the $1.6 trillion federal budget deficit, the United States Department of Agriculture has decided to auction off space on its new Food Plate icon, designed to replace the decades-old Food Pyramid as a guide to healthy eating.
With over 60 percent of Americans currently overweight or obese, the federal government was looking to find a new way to promote proper dietary choices. Although a recent study showed that 80 percent of American recognized the Food Pyramid, the same study also indicated that it was ignored by 100 percent of Americans.
However, this new design has upset some fiscal conservatives, who were angered by the $2 million that was spent by the USDA to accurately draw a circle. In response, the USDA has agreed to recoup those costs by allowing businesses in the food and beverage industries to bid for space on the coveted graphic.
Health officials have already become concerned about some of the businesses that have won advertising rights on the Food Plate. For instance, Frito-Lay won the right to sponsor the new health program with a $4 million bid. As such, the official title of the new design will be “The USDA Food Plate presented by Nacho Cheese Doritos.”
In addition, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are currently in a vicious bidding war over the rights to become the official beverage sponsor of the Drink Cup, represented by the smaller circle to the right of the Food Plate. However, an official inside the USDA, speaking on condition on anonymity, leaked the existence of a third company that has also entered the bidding. Although the official refused to name the company, it is widely believed to be Anheuser-Busch, who is looking to market Budweiser as a more healthful alternative to soda.
However, health officials saved most of their outrage for Altria, which has purchased 10 percent of the entire Food Plate. As such, the USDA will now be officially recommending that 10 percent of an American's diet should come in the form of Marlboro cigarettes.
Regina Benjamin, the current Surgeon General of the United States, voiced the concerns of most public health officials everywhere. “I've studied nutrition for nearly 30 years, and I'm like almost positive that tobacco is not a recognized food group.”
However, representatives at Altria felt that it was time to move beyond such outdated thinking. “We are not going to apologize for participating in the democratic process,” declared Altria CEO Michael Szymanczyk. “Thanks to the Supreme Court, that is our right as a corporation. Besides, cigarettes have long been known to be a powerful appetite suppressant.”
Mr. Szymanczyk also noted additional benefits of including cigarettes as part of a balanced diet. “This could single-handedly solve the Medicare crisis, since dead people don't need health insurance.” - Return to Previous Page
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