Legislators Have a Beef with Nutritional Panel

United States Congress

United States Congress

(Washington, DC — February 20, 2015) – Going against Congressional wishes, a top national nutritional panel released a report urging Americans to steer clear of diets high in red meat, angering Congressmen in the process.

Given that Congress says little about the plight of the nation’s poor and underserved, not to mention those Americans who are being decapitated by terrorists overseas, it seems it takes fairly insignificant issues to genuinely piss off the nation’s top legislative body.

The panel issued its report on Thursday, recommending that Americans be kinder, gentler eaters when choosing what to include in their diets. The report urged moving away from red meat diets, not because of the dangers of red meat but rather because of the land and resources needed to raise and produce animals for red meat consumption.

United States Department of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture

The pro-environment report, laid out in 571 glossy color laminated pages – including 27 8″×10″ color glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one – was released with 500,000 copies for its first run, effectively deforesting an area the size of Denver in the process.

The report will be used to update the nation’s Dietary Guidelines. Employees from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) will work together on the update.

Assuming Congress allows the update to go forward.

Robert B. Aderholt (R-AL), chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the budget for USDA, was not happy with the panel’s findings.

“Mr. Aderholt is concerned about yet another government entity telling average, ordinary, everyday Americans how to live their lives,” said an Aderholt spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. Just as gun ownership is enshrined in the Constitution, so is the right to eat as much red meat as you want.”

Robert Aderholt (R-AL)

Robert Aderholt
(R-AL)

Aderholt is considered a close friend of cattle ranchers; their livelihoods stand to be in the most danger if red meat consumption takes a nosedive in this country.

In spite of what Aderholt has said publicly, and in spite of his close, unshakable alliances, FLATLINEgov has learned that Aderholt plans to cut down on his red meat intake, infuriating many of his constituents.

“It’s a classic case of ‘eat as I say, not as I do’,” said a disgruntled constituent, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Attempting to appear tough on the environmental lobby, Aderholt went so far as to warn of possible USDA defunding in the next fiscal year. Congressional Republicans are in the process of defunding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Withholding the USDA’s budget would mean termination of the following:

  • Agricultural Marketing Service
  • Agricultural Research Service
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
  • Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
  • Economic Research Service
  • Farm Service Agency
  • Food and Nutrition Service
  • Food Safety and Inspection Service
  • Forest Service
  • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
  • National Agricultural Statistics Service
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Risk Management Agency
Department of Labor

Department of Labor

Meanwhile, a different kind of meat was much on the minds of the employees at the Department of Labor (DOL) – and not in a good way.

Employees are likely still gagging after learning the truth about why their cafeteria was shut down by city health department officials earlier this month.

“At the time, we thought it had to do with, like, that hand-washing debate,” said a DOL employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. “But now that I know the truth, I’m, like, so totally grossed out. It’s, like, just horrible.”

Thom Tillis (R-NC) "Real Men Don't Wash Their Hands After Defecating!"

Thom Tillis (R-NC)
“Real Men Don’t
Wash Their Hands
After Defecating!”

The “hand-washing debate” came about because Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) decided that it should be optional for restaurant employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Failure to wash one’s hands after using the bathroom has been proven to cause all sorts of medical conditions, such as: diarrhea, Diarrhea of the Mouth, E.coli, Foot-in-Mouth Disease, human leaking, Hand-Foot-Mouth Disease, influenza, Norovirus, Patronizing Verbal Diarrhea, Salmonella, and vomiting.

In truth, city health department officials did find employees skipping their hand-washing after defecating. Unfortunately, they found much more:

  • The hot and cold food bars were kept at inappropriate temperatures, bringing back memories of the Shuttle Inn once operated for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at 600 Independence Avenue, SW, in Washington, DC
  • Rodent feces were found in cafeteria storage rooms, both on the floors and on unused equipment, bring back memories of previously unknown vials of smallpox being located in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) building on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus
  • Flies were found throughout the cafeteria’s kitchen area; while not bringing back memories of anything in particular, it did create a buzz amongst inspectors and DOL employees
Karl

“Karl”

The DOL cafeteria has re-opened, and while some DOL employees were anxious to head back to their much-maligned cafeteria, the facility appeared mostly empty over the past week. It appears that the agency’s employees are laboring over other ways to grab a lunch, a snack, or the required coffee and doughnuts consumed multiple times per day.

“I reckon I’ll lay off the cafeteria food for a while, mmm-hmmm,” said a DOL employee, speaking on condition of anonymity. Wishing only to be identified as “Karl” for this article, FLATLINEgov learned that Karl is a GS-15 with 38 years of Federal service.

“I’ve got me some cans of potted meat in my office,” he continued, speaking on condition of anonymity. It goes good with biscuits and mustard and French-fried potters, mmm-hmmm.”

“Karl is very wise,” said a DOL official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He’s got a good head on his shoulders, but sometimes he just plain scares me.”

National Institutes of Health

National Institutes of Health

Federal cafeterias and health facilities have a long history of dietary and hygiene issues; the problems are not just limited to the NASA and DOL facilities previously mentioned:

  • In 1999, NIH opened a vomitorium for its 17,000 employees 1
  • In 2000, NIH’s Natcher Cafeteria, located in Building 45, gained notoriety over its food choices; NIH staff began using the term “barfét” to refer to its buffet 2
  • In 2001, the Natcher Cafeteria once again made headlines, opting to copy McDonald’s by offering batter-coated chicken heads to its customers 3
  • Also in 2001, the Natcher Cafeteria attempted to expand to Florida’s Disneyworld, partnering with Tubbi’s Buffeteria by providing its expertise in running a barfeteria 4
  • The cafeteria at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), located in Building 38A, made news in 2003 when it closed for extensive renovations; staff were forced to eat at their desks while the Cafebacteria was cleaned, updated, and beautified 5

1. NIH to Open Vomitorium for Employees. FLATLINE 1999 May;1(6):2.

2. Natcher Cafeteria Under New Management: Improvements to Selection, Service Called Into Question. FLATLINE 2000 Aug; 2(8):2.

3. Natcher Ruffles Feathers with New Tasty Treat. FLATLINE 2001 Jan-Feb;3(1-2):1.

4. Natcher Cafeteria Expands to Disney: Tubbi’s “Buffeteria” Offers Same Taste and Selection with Higher Prices. FLATLINE 2001 Jul-Aug; 3(7-8):5.

5. Cafeteria Closure May Mean More Work for NLM Employees: No Place to Eat? Eat at Your Desks While Working. FLATLINE 2003 Dec;5(12):1.

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