Monday, October 03, 2011

GE = Government Electric?

I'm currently trying to drop a few pounds, in hopes of looking a bit less Buddha-esque. I'm following a program that encourages more plant-based foods, less meat and dairy, and more exercise.  It's working, by the way, but don't expect me to provide Biggest Loser-style weigh-ins for your viewing pleasure.

Our ever-travelling First Lady, Michelle "Let Them Eat Arugula" Obama, has been quite involved in nutrition as well, and has helped publicize (if not develop) the new My Plate concept, replacing the old food pyramid:


Do I want the government telling me what to eat?  No, but I do appreciate the research involved, and I might look at what they have IF I decide to do so. That's where it stops. The government is NOT invited into my kitchen.


But thanks to our friends at GE, and Mr. Immelt's friends in Washington, the government is about to take a little bitty baby step into your kitchen, should you purchase one of several new GE microwaves. From GE's appliance website:


1.9 cu. ft. capacity
1000 Watts (IEC-705 test procedure)
Circuwave™ 1000 cooking system
Cooking system provides more power for fast, more even cooking results
Built-in sensors monitor the moisture level in food and automatically adjust time and power to deliver perfect cooking results. One touch is all it takes.
Sensor cooking controls
Automatically adjusts time and power for delicious cooking results
Porcelain enamel interior makes it easier to clean dried-on foods. Non-porous surface also makes cleaning spills and splatters a snap.
Power Saver mode
Makes it easy to wipe up spills, splatters and dried-on foods.
X
This mode delivers a reduction in standby power while the unit is not in use. The clock continues to operate on schedule, while Power Saver is activated and during power failures.
Reduces standby power while the unit is not in use.
Ummmm, wait just one minute. What was that last one?  MyPlate.gov? Yes, indeed!


GE has kindly provided us with a button to access a U.S. Government-approved menu. GE is quite proud of this:
“Our goal with the MyPlate feature is to give consumers an easy way to choose and tastefully cook foods that are healthier for them, using graphics and instructions that are easy to understand,” Susan Gregory, product manager for GE microwaves, told Business Wire. “Providing quality cooked food for a wide range of items is a huge part of the MyPlate feature.” According to Business Wire, GE “worked closely with the USDA to ensure the MyPlate feature in their cooking products is in step with dietary recommendations.”
Here's how it works in practice:


OK, now I'm just weirded out. This is such a benign-looking, yet ominous development.  General Electric has explicitly brought behavior "suggested" by the government, and especially the First Lady, into your home, at the push of a button. Think about this, and the implications. They are multitude. 

For the moment, I'll assume that these microwave models are not Wi-Fi equipped, but you can bet subsequent models will have this feature, so as to truly access MyPlate.gov.  Let me put on my tin-foil hat for a moment and ask you to keep in mind that Wi-Fi can upload as well as download. It is not a particularly great intellectual leap to consider the possibility of the oven transmitting what you are cooking, and presumably eating, back to GE, and then back to the government.  Anonymously, of course, snicker, snicker. After all, GE was at the forefront of the Meaningful Use concept, which is, at its essence, nothing more than certification that your EMR is capable of transmitting data...back to the government. I wonder if other GE equipment is similarly chipped equipped. I don't want my CT or MR transmitting my pretty pictures anywhere, thank you. There are enough jokes in Washington.

Crazy? Paranoid? Maybe. But when two and two add up to five, I smell a rat. BiGE Brother might well be watching you, or at least your microwave. I'm going to stick with my old Sharp oven, which has been running well for 16 years, and doesn't transmit anything back to Japan as near as I can tell. 

1 comment:

sallyhealthcaretech said...

Hmm, if this ever becomes the standard microwave, I will cook my food on a campfire, and I will still cook healthy, not because the government tells me to but because I CHOOSE to be healthy on my OWN TERMS. Wow, I'm really flabbergasted about this, and the fact that my doctor might not get to choose his right to opt out of EMR systems or even choose which EMR system he wants implemented in his office, this article goes on to explain why: http://freedomist.com/2011/10/stealing-your-medical-records-for-profit-and-political-gain-the-epic-systems-scandal/