Top food cop Marion Nestle has a new book of food-politic cartoons, but she herself is already a great source of entertainment—though quite unintentionally, we presume. We’ve written before about Nestle’s support for a federal slush fund to be used to advocate for school food regulations at the state and local levels, so we were surprised to see her quoted in USA Today as pooh-poohing lawmaker oversight of school foods, saying, “It’s ridiculous to have Congress micromanaging school food rules.” Well, we weren’t that surprised. This seems to be a consistent pattern: While she supports federal micromanaging from unelected bureaucrats, the democratic process is merely an obstacle in the way.
In a blog post titled, “USDA issues rules for competitive school foods. Yes!” Nestle applauded federal standards requiring “drinks to contain no more than 40 calories per 8 fl oz, or 60 calories per 12 fl oz.” She then points out that the last requirement would effectively “exclude all regular sodas, even Gatorade.” In another blog post, Nestle praised proposed USDA mandates that schools provide “snacks with less than 200 mg of sodium per serving, desserts with less than 35% of calories from sugars or less than 35% of weight as sugars, and beverages with no more than 40 or 50 calories per 8-ounce serving.”
Nestle also supports federal mandates imposed by the Federal Trade Commission regulating how foods can be marketed to children, calling it “great news” that “the food industry will have a much harder time marketing foods to kids” (especially if you’re a parent who can’t stand up to a 6-year-old and say “no,” that is).
Contrast these remarks with those in which she considers Congress doing its job – aka, making laws – as “micromanaging,” and it becomes immediately apparent what Nestle supports: Rule by government fiat, not democratic process. Given Nestle’s contempt for the common man—she’s said that “ordinary mortals” can’t count calories—that’s far from shocking.