A loyal reader (who knew?) alerts me to the federal subsidy of a Quiznos sub. Now I'm no fan of compelled government speech -- which is what the Supreme Court has decided checkoffs are -- but you'll understand if I fail to muster sufficient outrage here. That would depend on the conviction that the USDA's nutritionists are any less full of shit than its agribusiness marketers. [Marion Nestle, who does believe in the science of nutrition, has been beating this drum for a long time, and last year it showed up both in the mainstream media and even in Scalia's opinion in Johanns v LMA]. I should also point out that although I have never eaten at Quiznos, the sub in question appears marginally less revolting than the Domino's Steak Fanatic Pizza the Beef Checkoff funded last year.
Not to to say that the real issue -- the obscenity of government-funded advertising for private enterprise -- isn't enraging, of course. Those of you more devoted than I to the topic will want to check out Agribusiness 19/3 (2003), special issue on the economics of commodity checkoffs. If you don't have access, I can send you pdfs.
Saveur death watch: they're down to like 15 ad pages. At least Colman Andrews didn't write the whole issue himself, like last month. But whoever edited Regina's bizarrely truncated article clearly can't afford his meds anymore.