Wednesday, August 24, 2016

USDA to Purchase Surplus Postdoctoral Fellows for Food Banks and Families in Need, Continue to Assist Ph.D. Producers

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced plans to purchase approximately 10,000 postdoctoral fellows (approximately 2 million pounds of scientists) from university inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a Ph.D. surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. The purchase, valued at $20 million, will be provided to families in need across the country through USDA nutrition assistance programs, while assisting the stalled marketplace for doctoral and postdoctoral producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.

"We understand that the nation's academics are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for fresh meat of any variety, even postdocs, which are a little gamy," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This commodity purchase is part of a robust, comprehensive safety net that will help reduce a postdoc surplus that is at a 30-year high while, at the same time, moving a high-protein, science-based and soft-skilled food to the tables of those most in need. USDA will continue to look for ways within its authorities to make tasty meals from underemployed postdocs and provide for added stability in the academic marketplace."

"By supporting a strong academic safety net and growing domestic and foreign markets for well-trained, highly-skilled meat that can solve the toughest problems, USDA is committed to helping America's Ph.D.-producing operations remain successful while expanding the alternatives to tenure-track academic positions to include being ground up for dinner," said Vilsack.

While USDA projects postdoctoral demand to increase throughout the rest of the year, many factors including low world prices for postdoctoral labor, increased Ph.D. supplies and inventories, and slower demand have contributed to the sluggish marketplace for research scientists.

USDA will continue to monitor market conditions in the coming months and evaluate additional actions, if necessary, later this fall.

For the literal-minded, this is satire.
with mild apologies to the Department of Agriculture


  1. A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Glut of PhD's from Being a Burden to their Parents, Country, and for Making them Beneficial to the Public?

  2. I submit that replacing post-docs in this proposal with politicians as a food source would be much more green -- there would be less jetting around the world playing golf, less hot air and carbon dioxide produced during their speeches, and they are generally more on the meaty side than a poor underfed post-doc.

    It would also raise the average IQ of the citizenry significantly. Take a politician to lunch today -- I'll take mine well-done, please. With mustard. :-)

    1. What's wrong with golf?

    2. Nothing except occasions where it costs the taxpayer millions of dollars.

  3. I hear that Jessica Alba and Sarah Hyland will be the Judas goats.

  4. Post-doc fellows is people!!! (Apologies to the fictional Frank Thorn)