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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 14, 2007

News Note: WIC Gets an Overhaul (It’s a Mixed Bag)

By Mark Sisson

The government has finally gotten around to giving a damn for disadvantaged women and children. It only took Uncle Sam 30 years. WIC is getting a long-overdue overhaul. The good news: fruits and vegetables are on the menu. It stuns me that produce wasn’t a priority before; in the world’s richest country, things like developmental defects, rickets, bad teeth and poor brain development ought to strike shame in all of us. But then again, seeing as how Uncle Sam considers produce to be a “specialty” crop and direct subsidy funds to corn, chemicals, soybean oil, milk and factory meat instead, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised. I’m glad WIC is getting the overhaul; the dairy and meat crowd, understandably, is not pleased. (I’d be displeased by this as well, except for the fact that the sort of animal protein tossed WIC’s way is hardly desirable.) My issue with WIC is the misguided emphasis on whole grains. That’s right: the overhaul is introducing more grains into the program. Hey, guys, didn’t you get the memo? We did grains in the 80s, back when we believed your diatribes against fat.

…Except it’s nearly 2008, and Uncle Sam is still lagging behind. Sam, try laying off the soda and pasta and see how you do. Pulling your head out of the sand also apparently helps.

MykIR Flickr Photo

Further Reading:

New Nutrition Labeling System Still Has Flaws

How Safe is Our Food?

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3 Comments on "News Note: WIC Gets an Overhaul (It’s a Mixed Bag)"


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9 years 8 months ago
I’d just like to point out – being on the WIC program myself, that many things that were needed, weren’t provided by WIC because they were available through ‘free grocery’, which is where people go to the stores, and pick up produce that’s been in the store for ‘too long’ even though it’s perfectly fine. It’s not necessarily the program itself, its just the people found that there were more needs for groceries that don’t get out of the store as fast, and are available to people in need by way of the WIC program. It’s a great program, and… Read more »
ted danson
ted danson
9 years 8 months ago

Unhealthy food is an epidemic in the junior highs and grade schools. Government needs to be pushed in a positive direction for some real answers.

9 years 8 months ago
My issue with WIC is the misguided emphasis on whole grains. That’s right: the overhaul is introducing more grains into the program. I went to the USDA’s WIC website and skimmed through a long report on the proposed new food guidelines and the process by which they were established. There were a fair number of foods allowed under WIC: canned fish, eggs, milk, cheese, peanut butter, legumes, and breakfast cereal. Allowable quantities of other items were reduced to make room for the two new categories: fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Given the variety of allowable foods, I’d hardly say… Read more »