The Government wants you to be Obese
Some nifty graphs and a quote from TreeHugger:
To start off, here’s a great graph from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine showing the Food Pyramid that we’re all familiar with, compared to the Federal Subsidies. So here we have the Government telling us we need to eat healthier, while at the same time empowering a system that does not support their own public ideology.
So, is this a case of competing governmental agencies undermining each other? Well, here’s another graph that’s pretty telling:
Now just looking at the trends, it’s clear that at some point in the 80’s Fruits & Vegetables started become more expensive than cookies, and soda is the cheapest of all.
So if you have X food budget, are you going to buy the healthy foods, or the cheaper, sweeter, tastier foods?
Clearly, self-control and responsibility play huge roles in what we do, but how hypocritical is it to subsidize the industries that clearly don’t need it?
I’m sure there’s a lot Michael Pollan could explain about why this trend is happening, but I’m sure there’s something each of us could do to make a personal change. For myself, I’ve switched out normal snack food for whole almonds, and don’t really miss a thing.
Here’s what TreeHugger had to say about it:
In a classic case of contradictory government policy the above pyramids clearly show the inverse relationship between federal government agriculture subsidies and federal nutrition recommendations. Originally published in 2007 by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in Good Medicine Magazine to outline the committee’s concern about the impending farm bill. The graphic recently resurfaced in food security circles and found its way to the Economix Blog @ The New York Times.
The original PCRM article explains the regulatory discrepancy that results in an obese nation.
The Farm Bill…governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients. The bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies, much of which goes to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products–the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease. Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies.The government also purchases surplus foods like cheese, milk, pork, and beef for distribution to food assistance programs–including school lunches. The government is not required to purchase nutritious foods.