Pollan on the politics of fat

More from this excellent article from Michael Pollan, which really is a must-read:

The committee drafted a straightforward set of dietary guidelines calling on Americans to cut down on red meat and dairy products. Within weeks a firestorm, emanating from the red-meat and dairy industries, engulfed the committee, and Senator McGovern who had a great many cattle ranchers among his South Dakota constituents was forced to beat a retreat.

The committee’s recommendations were hastily rewritten. Plain talk about food — the committee had advised Americans to actually “reduce consumption of meat” — was replaced by artful compromise: “Choose meats, poultry and fish that will reduce saturated-fat intake.” A subtle change in emphasis, you might say, but a world of difference just the same.

I often suspect government is near the root of many social problems. I’m often right.