Food Guidelines = Conflict of Interest
Stop what you're doing for a moment and take some time to think about how you would answer the following question. What guidelines do you use when making food choices for your family's nutritional needs? Do you consider news reports to be a reliable source? What about the USDA recommendations? Our food choices are most likely based on information we gather from a combination of sources, although our taste preferences and cultural and social norms probably influence us the most.
After making the transition to a plant-centered diet, isn't it amusing how others react once they learn about our new eating habits? At social gatherings, we're introduced as "the vegans," as if we're aliens from another planet! Other times we may be excluded, harassed, or even laughed at. Why do our food choices generate such emotion? It must be because it's not popular to go against what our culture believes to be true. We don't allow our culture to influence the food choices we make, so we're considered to be strange!
When we stop to think about it, we eat food that's socially accepted, convenient, and satisfies our food addictions rather than taking the time to study the scientific literature. Most of us wouldn't have the time to do this, but thankfully, Dr. Michael Greger has already done this for us! Dr. Greger explains how the USDA food guidelines have evolved over the past few decades, and how these guidelines are heavily influenced by agricultural and commercial interest groups instead of science. Seeing how much control these large profit-driven corporations have on U.S. nutritional guidelines will surprise you.
Please take the time to view the short video clips embedded below. Each video is between one to three minutes in length. Reflect back on these videos the next time you're at the grocery store, so you won't be bringing these special interest groups home to be seated at your dining room table!
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