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Wayne Lutz

Mr. Lutz is the editor, publisher and chief writer of The Tocquevillian magazine. He also writes and maintains a fitness website, and has been widely published in print media and on the web, mostly on health and fitness topics and on men's issues.

He is a member of the NRA, the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Heritage Foundation, and Judicial Watch. In his spare time he helps old ladies cross the street and is kind to children and puppies - habits which, admittedly, belie his unusual appearance.

Mr. Lutz is available to conservative organizations for speaking engagements, and may be reached at eic @ tocquevillian.com

Wayne Lutz Archives

    Let Them Eat Lard
    by Wayne Lutz

    September 30th, 2002

    Brace yourselves for this one - it's ugly: Some Californians are not eating their fruits and veggies.

    I know, I know. I was shocked too.

    But before you leap to some wild-eyed, reactionary conclusion about irresponsible Californians not eating their brussels sprouts, consider: If it isn't your fault, it can't be bad. And if some Californians are not eating enough fruits and veggies, then it certainly isn't their fault - not according to the California Department of Health Services, anyway.

    "Whose fault would it then be?" I hear you query, in that innocent tone you do so well.

    Why, Big Food is to blame! As if you couldn't have guessed.

    In a news release dated September 23rd, the California Department of Health Services unveiled the results of a state survey entitled the "California Dietary Practices Surveys." The survey data show that in a ten-year period, overall produce consumption did not change - but there was a marked decrease in produce consumption among certain groups.

    Ah. Victims. We have victims. A whole new oppressed class. That would be Step One in the creation of a new social outrage. Step Two: Identify the nature of the oppression:

    The survey data showed that, for the period from 1989 to 1999, the same period during which research revealed the "added health benefits" of eating fruits and veggies, a produce consumption gap formed and widened among racial, ethnic, income and educational groups.

    Sounds like a conspiracy to me.

    Continuing to examine the pronouncement, I shall facilitate this endeavor with helpful notes and translations:

    "The State of California is addressing this nutrition crisis (Helpful Note: Keyword - "crisis." We have invented a new "crisis," now we will provide the cure, thus increasing our power.) with an integrated outreach effort that promotes healthy food choices where Californians live, work and play," said Grantland Johnson, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. (Helpful Translation: You're too stupid to choose your own food, so we're going to do it for you.) "For better health, all Californians need easier access to affordable, high-quality fruits and vegetables." (Helpful Translation: We, your meddling nanny government, are going to force someone else to make the "right" food available to you, at the "right" price.)

    In 1989, black folks in California consumed 4 servings of produce per day, and that dropped to 3.2 servings in 1999. Lower-educated Californians consumed 3.9 servings ten years ago, and only 3.1 servings in 1999. For data specific to 1999, there were "significant gaps" associated with education. (Helpful Note: Keyword - "gap." "Gap" is a pejorative, denoting unfairness, and must be closed.) Lower-educated Californians reported eating 3.1 servings, compared to 4.5 servings for higher-educated Californians. The lowest income Californians consistently reported eating fewer servings of fruits and veggies (3.4) than those with annual incomes greater than $50,000 (4.5 servings). And, Latinos and Asian-Pacific Islanders reported eating 3.7 servings per day, Caucasians 3.9 per day.

    Does this have the makings of a whole new class-war, or what? This one has it all - white vs. black, rich vs. poor, ignorant vs. educated, Latinos vs., well, everybody.

    Having now identified the specific victims, the nature of the crime against them, and having separated the victims from more privileged classes, there remains only Step Three: Identify the oppressor - assign blame.

    Step three is accomplished nicely by the focus of the study:

    "Californians also cited factors in their environments as the main reasons they did not eat more fruits and vegetables. Among those surveyed, the most common reasons given were that fruits and vegetables are hard to purchase in fast food restaurants (88 percent), hard to find at work (62 percent), difficult to buy in other restaurants (35 percent) and too expensive (27 percent). As a result of these survey findings, CDHS and the California Restaurant Association (CRA) today announced a new partnership to address some of the barriers that prevent Californians from eating healthy."

    In other words, we would eat right if we could, but veggies are hard to purchase in fast-food ( ! ) restaurants! And my employer, he doesn't provide me with veggies! And besides, I can't afford veggies, because Big Food charges too much for them!

    It is not a matter of personal choice or responsibility, you see, rather it is a defect in the "environment" that forces people not to eat their veggies. It is not that people have any choice, after all, because there are "barriers" that "prevent" them from eating produce. And lest there be any doubt, these are "barriers" that can kill you: "Results of the California Dietary Practices Surveys...also reveal barriers that prevent Californians from eating the five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables needed for good health and to help reduce the risks of chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and obesity."

    It's not your fault you're fat and dying of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It's those barriers. And the California Department of Health Services, in order to ensure that no one misses the point, even provides us with dramatic graphics to drive home the image of insurmountable (by you, alone) "barriers." The chart depicts a desperate little girl trying to scale an impossible barrier to health, wellness and cabbage. And do note, the difficulty in purchasing produce in fast-food establishments is the biggest barrier of all.

    (Click image for larger view)

    In a few short paragraphs we've been given it all - a victim group, a crisis in which to immerse them, a high-profile oppressor, and a savior embodied in government. The battle-lines are clearly defined; it remains only to commence hostilities.

    © 2002 Tocqevillian Magazine