Why does the USDA want you to add your local vegetable garden to a national database?
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In a move that has many folks scratching their heads, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has renewed its push for the People’s Garden Initiative which now includes registering vegetable gardens nationwide. According to the USDA, the move is to foster a "more diverse and resilient local food system to empower communities to address issues like nutrition access and climate change." But those who have been following the USDA closely for years know that they couldn't care less about your health and nutrition.
To register your garden with the USDA, one must meet several easily obtainable standards.
School gardens, community gardens, urban farms, and small-scale agriculture projects in rural, suburban and urban areas can be recognized as a “People’s Garden” if they register on the USDA website and meet criteria including benefitting the community, working collaboratively, incorporating conservation practices and educating the public.
These standards essentially define every community garden in the country. Now, the government organization that shells out billions every year to companies whose products, like high-fructose corn syrup, are responsible for a massive epidemic of obesity across the planet, will have a database of them.
“We welcome gardens nationwide to join us in the People’s Garden effort and all it represents,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, “Local gardens across the country share USDA’s goals of building more diversified and resilient local food systems, empowering communities to come together around expanding access to healthy food, addressing climate change and advancing equity.”
Secretary Vilsack added: “We encourage existing gardens and new gardens to join the movement. Growing local food benefits local communities in so many ways, and we offer technical resources to help. Also, it’s a great way to connect with your local USDA team members.”
Again, it is important to point out that the mission statement of the USDA does not involve anything to do with keeping Americans healthy. In fact, their track record over the years has done the complete opposite.
Case in point: In December 2020, a scientific committee, composed of 20 academics and doctors, recommended cutting the limit for added sugars in the diet to 6% of daily calories from 10% in the current guidelines. The group compiled a massive trove of data and presented this request to the USDA citing rising rates of obesity and the link between obesity and health problems like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
To be clear, you need absolutely 0% of your diet to be comprised of sugar but this panel seemingly knew the USDA — who hands out billions of taxpayer dollars to companies who specialize in addicting Americans to sugar — would never get behind a recommendation against all sugar. So, they offered a slight concession.