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 Post subject: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:17 am 
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http://www.examiner.com/article/dr-milt ... e-medicine

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Government dietary guidelines also received Mills’ criticism. He called the dairy recommendations racist, as so many African Americans and other non-whites are lactose intolerant. Many of his patients have tried to follow the dietary guidelines but come in with gas pains, thinking something was terribly wrong with them. “It’s really unfair to encourage people of color to consume foods that are going to make them sick,” he said.


Much more here:

http://www.democracynow.org/2000/1/19/p ... guidelines


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:46 am 
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Yes.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:46 am 
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I haven't read the article but my gut instinct (and everything I've read before) tell me the USDA recommendations for anything have not much to do with racism and everything to do with marketing.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:47 am 
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teddyplanet wrote:
the USDA recommendations for anything have not much to do with racism and everything to do with marketing.


Pretty much.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:18 pm 
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linanil wrote:
teddyplanet wrote:
the USDA recommendations for anything have not much to do with racism and everything to do with marketing.


Pretty much.

But in a culture steeped in racism and built on the premise of white supremacy, marketing itself will be racist. Sure, it won't be klan-in-white-robes racist, but it will be racist in the, oh, say, encouraging people of colour (through health-based fearmongering) to consume a needless foodstuff that does them physical harm.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:20 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
linanil wrote:
teddyplanet wrote:
the USDA recommendations for anything have not much to do with racism and everything to do with marketing.


Pretty much.

But in a culture steeped in racism and built on the premise of white supremacy, marketing itself will be racist. Sure, it won't be klan-in-white-robes racist, but it will be racist in the, oh, say, encouraging people of colour (through health-based fearmongering) to consume a needless foodstuff that does them physical harm.


yup. j-dubbers flicks the weasel.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 12:51 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
linanil wrote:
teddyplanet wrote:
the USDA recommendations for anything have not much to do with racism and everything to do with marketing.


Pretty much.

But in a culture steeped in racism and built on the premise of white supremacy, marketing itself will be racist. Sure, it won't be klan-in-white-robes racist, but it will be racist in the, oh, say, encouraging people of colour (through health-based fearmongering) to consume a needless foodstuff that does them physical harm.

But I see this more as a problem coming from the dairy industry and also corruption within our own government where money dictates nutritional recommendations. The dairy industry was allowed to infiltrate schools and our own nutritional programs based on greed.

Is it good to question whether it is racist to make such suggestions? sure but I think the motivation is something other than racism.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:05 pm 
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linanil wrote:
But I see this more as a problem coming from the dairy industry and also corruption within our own government where money dictates nutritional recommendations. The dairy industry was allowed to infiltrate schools and our own nutritional programs based on greed.

Is it good to question whether it is racist to make such suggestions? sure but I think the motivation is something other than racism.

Sure, but what I'm saying is that in a racist culture the main motivation needn't be racism for the product to be racist. I don't think there are dairy barons saying "how shall we enact our racism today, mua hahaha!"

Rather, because the White experience is taken as the default experience in North America, products that are detrimental to many People of Colour are marketed as necessary to all because their experiences are either discarded, ignored or assumed to be identical to the default--White.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:45 pm 
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j-dub wrote:
the White experience is taken as the default experience in North America


I think this is pretty much a given but I also think that overall the recommendations seem to come into place without thinking if they were actually beneficial let alone harmful to certain groups of people.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:52 pm 
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linanil wrote:
j-dub wrote:
the White experience is taken as the default experience in North America


I think this is pretty much a given but I also think that overall the recommendations seem to come into place without thinking if they were actually beneficial let alone harmful to certain groups of people.


We could also argue that the white experience is so central that bodies which don't line up with the normative white experience are considered deficient or diseased. Therefore lactose intolerance is not just a difference among humans, it's a deficiency of lactase that requires treatment, so that a person can consume the normative white diet (which doesn't even hold for all people who are now considered "white" - my ethnic group is 2/3 lactose intolerant, but I'm definitely considered white in the US).

I'm not really sure there is all that much consciousness going on behind any of this, or that there ever was, but that our standards of what bodies are supposed to be are necessarily racist just because those making the recommendations and setting agricultural goals for the country have always been overwhelmingly white and aware only of their own "normal." It's not the scary bigots sort of racism, it's the institutionalized privilege/institutionalized invisibility sort of racism.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:32 pm 
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I think racist is the wrong word. It is not a person nor an idea that any particular race or ethnic group is inferior to another. I think it is probably an example of structural racism, although I wonder about the magnitude of the differential effects of this particular policy - it might make for an interesting study of some sort, and depending on the results actually give leverage to the promotion of different guidelines.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:41 pm 
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kimba wrote:
I think racist is the wrong word. It is not a person nor an idea that any particular race or ethnic group is inferior to another. I think it is probably an example of structural racism, although I wonder about the magnitude of the differential effects of this particular policy - it might make for an interesting study of some sort, and depending on the results actually give leverage to the promotion of different guidelines.


Racism /=/ bigotry.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:41 pm 
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I agree that it isn't racist. Clueless is a better descriptor. And greedy, since it is all lobby driven.

It is all so I fruits ting, especially when you look at things like school lunch programs. Minorities disproportionately qualify for free and reduced lunch and breakfast, but those all put a heavy focus on dairy. The breakfast is usually milk and cereal. Can't eat that? Oh well. Too bad, so sad. Children are required to physically put the milk on their lunch tray even if they must throw it out. In order to have an alternative, they need a doctors note, something many kids needed free lunch probably don't have easy access to.

Remember, back in the 80s, the US helpfully sent starving Ethiopians vast quantities of powdered milk. If that isn't clueless, what is?

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 4:43 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
Remember, back in the 80s, the US helpfully sent starving Ethiopians vast quantities of powdered milk. If that isn't clueless, what is?


Gotta dump it somewhere, right? Otherwise it'd be harder to justify propping up the industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:11 pm 
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I think you could claim racism if I really thought they evaluated milk prior to making it a recommendation. Obviously there is a bias and maybe if they were thinking about something other than dollar signs, then they could've really evaluated whether it was a good nutritional standard. I guess I'm jaded and didn't even think they got that far.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:22 pm 
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The USDA is definitely aware that a high percentage of african americans are lactose intolerant.

Quote:
Sure, but what I'm saying is that in a racist culture the main motivation needn't be racism for the product to be racist...Rather, because the White experience is taken as the default experience in North America


In the past many medical studies focused exclusively on white middle-aged males.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:27 pm 
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linanil wrote:
I think you could claim racism if I really thought they evaluated milk prior to making it a recommendation. Obviously there is a bias and maybe if they were thinking about something other than dollar signs, then they could've really evaluated whether it was a good nutritional standard. I guess I'm jaded and didn't even think they got that far.


Exactly this.

I mean, the government simultaneously funded campaigns for Dominoes pizza to use more cheese and health campaigns suggesting people should eat less. It is all nonsensical.

However, enough focus has been brought to the issue of lactose intolerance, especially among many ethnic groups, that if they keep ignoring the issue, it will become a racial bias issue. I think they are teetering on the cusp of this right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
kimba wrote:
I think racist is the wrong word. It is not a person nor an idea that any particular race or ethnic group is inferior to another. I think it is probably an example of structural racism, although I wonder about the magnitude of the differential effects of this particular policy - it might make for an interesting study of some sort, and depending on the results actually give leverage to the promotion of different guidelines.


Racism /=/ bigotry.


I don't understand your point. Yes, they are different, but I think I used to concept of racism correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:41 pm 
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kimba wrote:
Ariann wrote:
kimba wrote:
I think racist is the wrong word. It is not a person nor an idea that any particular race or ethnic group is inferior to another. I think it is probably an example of structural racism, although I wonder about the magnitude of the differential effects of this particular policy - it might make for an interesting study of some sort, and depending on the results actually give leverage to the promotion of different guidelines.


Racism /=/ bigotry.


I don't understand your point. Yes, they are different, but I think I used to concept of racism correctly.



Racism is discrimination plus power. Racism by nature is structural, otherwise its just discrimination on a personal level. Despite the fact white people are on their way to be a population minority, our wants and traditions are at the focus to the detriment of PoC.

If the government won't care about the legacy of colonialism and genocide, I'm sure they won't care that the products the dairy industry pushed is making people of colour sick no matter how you tell them.

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Last edited by Shy Mox on Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:45 pm 
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unethical_vegan wrote:
The USDA is definitely aware that a high percentage of african americans are lactose intolerant.


It is more accurate to say that those with non-european ancestry, specifically northern european ancestry since tend to have a higher lactose intolerance than not. Although I'm guessing those with middle eastern ancestry may have a lower level of lactose intolerance but not sure on that.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:19 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:

Racism is discrimination plus power. Racism by nature is structural, otherwise its just discrimination on a personal level. Despite the fact white people are on their way to be a population minority, our wants and traditions are at the focus to the detriment of PoC.


A person can be a racist. In fact, they can be a racist without discriminating. That is on an individual level. I was saying that the policy was not "racist" - but I didn't say it wasn't racism, in fact I did. However, structural racism is a distinct concept and my point was, I think this is an example of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:29 pm 
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Shy Mox wrote:
Racism by nature is structural, otherwise its just discrimination on a personal level.

For more on structural racism: http://www.racialequitytools.org/ci-issues-sr.htm

Shy Mox wrote:
Despite the fact white people... our wants and traditions are at the focus to the detriment of PoC.

As a PoC, I've noticed that.


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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:55 pm 
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lavawitch wrote:
I agree that it isn't racist. Clueless is a better descriptor. And greedy, since it is all lobby driven.

It is all so I fruits ting, especially when you look at things like school lunch programs. Minorities disproportionately qualify for free and reduced lunch and breakfast, but those all put a heavy focus on dairy. The breakfast is usually milk and cereal. Can't eat that? Oh well. Too bad, so sad. Children are required to physically put the milk on their lunch tray even if they must throw it out. In order to have an alternative, they need a doctors note, something many kids needed free lunch probably don't have easy access to.

Remember, back in the 80s, the US helpfully sent starving Ethiopians vast quantities of powdered milk. If that isn't clueless, what is?

You know what happens to 85% + of the organic veg and fruit that nice middle and upper middle class parents put in their kids' lunches? I've eaten with kids. It ends up in the trash, even if the kids have to take their sandwich apart. The kids who got school lunch also sorted it into stuff they liked and stuff they didn't. Some kids ate their veg and some dumped it. Putting it on a tray and getting kids to eat it are two different things. Kids are forced to select from categories because you would not like to see what many of them would pick on their own.

They toss milk out as well but they would also toss almond milk. I think at Toby's elementary school there were alternatives to milk that kids could select, sans doctors note.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:11 pm 
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That's why I'm not in favor of forcing ANYTHING onto kids' trays.

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 Post subject: Re: Are USDA dairy recommendations racist?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:39 pm 
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The term "lactose intolerant" is problematic inherently-- the ability to digest milk as an adult is the unusual state for humans. Only Northern Europeans and some historically pastoral groups in Africa have high rates of lactase persistence. That makes them the weird ones, not the vast majority of adults worldwide who have some degree of lactose intolerance.


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