Happy Food Day, Everyone!

[Food Day]

The University Near Here, we're told, is in dire financial straits. Nevertheless it's devoted a significant chunk of resources to celebrate Food Day today. It's the culmination of over a month's worth of activity, titled "UNH Passport to Food Citizenship."

Maybe "celebrate" is the wrong word. I haven't noticed anyone having any fun. Mainly, people are just very, very earnest. Also very, very, self-righteous. And it's low on education, very high on indoctrination.

The UNH site proudly informs you that Food Day was created by the reliably left-wing Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). It's overtly political. Their front page demands: "Ask Congress to Support Food Day's Goals". In case there's any doubt who's in charge of translating "support" into legislation: the Food Day co-chairs are Tom Harkin, Democratic Senator from Iowa, and Rosa DeLauro, Democratic Congresswoman from Connecticut. The Food Day "Advisory Board" contains seven more Congresscritters, another Senator, and a mayor. No surprises: all Democrats.

There's an easy fill-in form where you can importune your own Members of Congress to "fix America's broken food system." The "fix" is the usual panoply of blunt tools government uses to "fix" the other "broken systems" in the US: heavy regulation, mandates, rules, programs, subsidies, and the like. The ones that have worked so well to "fix" the health, education, financial, and energy sectors.

The whole notion of food being a "system" that can be "fixed" is another instance of what Thomas Sowell called the "unconstrained vision": the unexamined, unshakeable belief that it's all one big well-understood machine, and to get the outcomes we prefer, all we have to do is "fix" it. And there's the obvious corollary: anyone who disagrees is either evil or foolish, and can be safely ignored, or made ineffective "by any means necessary".

So the University has (again) officially hitched its wagon to a highly partisan, lefty cause. Noble-sounding goals are used to sugarcoat statist solutions, making them appear to be what any decent human must support. You will look in vain for any indication on the web page that any of this might even be controversial, let alone any presentation of principled alternative points of view. Disappointing, not surprising.

For a palate cleanser, I suggest the great Katherine Mangu-Ward, writing in the Washington Post on "Five myths about healthy eating." Also: Jacob Sullum noting a rare instance of a food-policy maven (Mark Bittman) succumbing to at least one fact.

And have a good Food Day. I suggest you celebrate it by eating as much as you want, of whatever you want.

Last Modified 2017-12-02 6:09 PM EDT