Plenty of R+ trainers advocate the use of the dog's meal in training. Dr. Ian Dunbar and Susan Garrett both recommend feeding a puppy nearly all of their food while training even at the beginning. I don't see anything wrong with it in the context of the pushing exercise either, as great care is taken to make sure the dog is not stressed at any time during the exercise. Your use of the words "tease" and "intimidated" make me wonder if you even read the whole article. There was nothing in the description of the exercise that even remotely suggested either of these.