Odd request from someone at the Public Health Foundation

February 15, 2015
humor blog

Recently, someone from the Public Health Foundation contacted me because they found a blog post I had from back in 2005, specifically Corporate/Government Parodies on the Web. They asked if I’d like to update the broken reference to mypyramid.gov (which no longer exists) in favor of a new government nutrition website. Having gone back and re-read the post for context, I initially thought I’d just ignore it for the moment since I figured it had to be some automated webcrawler of sending emails to DNS contacts for any hits referencing the old .gov URL. But they actually sent me a followup email, so I thought I might go ahead and make some updates.

For some reason, I found it amusing that someone could stumble across a blog post of mine from 10 years ago overlook the part where it is focused on website spoofs and is not even remotely about good nutrition. The website link they suggested I update was for when the USDA updated nutrition recommendations (i.e. the food pyramid). Since I decided to post about this, I went ahead and updated the links in the old article to point to archive.org snapshots from 2005. Not perfect, but gives you some of the flavor of it. The spoof referred to the USDA as the United States Department of Agribusiness, the health assessment tool asks about how much moderate or vigorous physical activity you do “such as playing video games, standing up to change the channel or walking to your car.“, and other bits of satire such as:

USDA hopes the updated food pyramid, MyPyramid, will help to ease much of the confusion that has come from so-called “doctors” and “scientists” claiming that their independent, repeatable experimentation has shown red meat, processed foods, agrichemicals and irradiation to be unhealthy for people and the planet. Many of USDA’s top officials have worked in the Agribusiness industry, providing the expertise necessary to develop a pyramid that best represents the truth about healthy eating – it’s not what happens to the food before it gets to your table, but simply that you eat substantial servings of all foods – Following these guidelines will help ensure the health of American families while guaranteeing the health of Agribusiness Corporations around the world.

Since it amused me that they could completely miss what the old post was about, I thought I’d go ahead and include links to their suggested replacement for the food pyramid, choosemyplate.gov, and even with their new “33,000 word guide … covering healthy balanced diet, various food groups, physical activity, nutritional needs during pregnancy and breast feeding, nutrition for the preschool children and more”!