The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently awarded the University of Kentucky a grant just shy of $150,000 to study:

… the drivers of food shopping patterns, behaviors and food purchasing choices adolescents and their parents that could lead to interventions in the future.

The project’s lead director Prof. Alison Gustafson told said the study will rely on GPS tracking to:

…help us map out a travel pattern, the geographic space and the number of food venues in this space. As well as the type — grocery stores, gas stations or super centers,’

The study also will examine the shopping habits of adolescents traveling with and without a parent. ‘Are shopping habits different for an adolescent when they are with a parent or with a friend? My hypothesis is that there will be a difference,’ Gustafson said.

Really? Ya think???

And what about those ‘interventions’?

Gustafson explains, ‘The intervention that we will likely write another grant for, is so you change their shopping habits.  We will be working with food stores, adolescents and parents on how to change their choice to healthier snacks and foods.’

It’s bad enough that the USDA is trying to micro-manage what students eat in school (and failing miserably, by the way—see here and here). Now our tax dollars are being used to stalk grown-ups in grocery stores.

We can see where all this is going. First you target kids in school. Next you target taxpayers, and with them business owners—in this case grocery and convenience store owners—for food “re-education.”

Don’t believe me? Check out some of the other vitally important projects the USDA also recently funded to the combined tune of $5 million, including the University of Kentucky’s grant.

  • Alabama’s Tuskegee University got $25,000 to document taste preferences for fat and sweet foods in African American adolescents.
  • The USDA handed Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey $149,992 to examine students’ on-campus food choices “to help inform college dining policy.”
  • Oregon State University got a whopping $4.7 million to teach 4-H soccer players “life skills” such as gardening, cooking, healthy eating, and physical education.

Twenty years of USDA food meddling is enough. It’s time to get the Ag Department out of the nutrition business.