January 4, 2012
By Mike Barrett
“The people in charge want you to eat junk food. They want you to be sick. They want you diseased. Why? So you can take pharmaceuticals and get sicker (and make them and big pharma lots of money) and so you can’t get powerful or rich. When you’re fat and sick, it’s a lot harder to live the American dream. Get it? The solution – eat salads!” –KTRN
With rates of obesity, diabetes, and nearly every other major health problem rising each year, why has the United States decided to heavily subsidize junk food? Farmers around the country choosing to grow healthy crops like chard, broccoli, and spinach simply do not have the government funding that those growing massive amounts of corn and soy beans (of which above 90% of each are genetically modified) do. Does the U.S. government really think that fruits and vegetables are not as important as grains which are used mostly for processing harmful food items? It may be time for a policy change.
Unhealthy Food Subsidization is Ruining Our Health
Between 1995 and 2010 over $260 billion was spent by American taxpayers in agricultural subsidies. Most of that money is put into commodity crops such as corn and soybeans, but the money is far less than well spent. While corn alone took in a whopping $77.1 billion from the government between 1995 and 2010, taxpayers spent $262 million subsidizing apples during the same time period. It just so happens that apples are really the only significant federal subsidy of fresh fruits and vegetables. In fact, if these agricultural subsidies went directly to consumers for the purchase of food, America’s 144 million taxpayers would each be given $7.36 to spend on junk food and only 11 cents to buy apples each year. This equates to about 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of one healthy apple.
The U.S. government continues to be a major player in the national food business, with subsidies continuing to grow. The worst part is that the crops being subsidized are almost always genetically modified and pose a health risk to the environment and humankind.
Corn may be the crop utilized most poorly in the country. The corn being produced is actually specifically created for purposes of adding certain ingredients (many of which are toxic) into the food supply. One such ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, which has been found to contain mercury and cause cancer, and resides in many products such as ketchup, cereals, and beverages. Shockingly, it has nearly replaced sugar in all sodas and soft drinks.
September 20, 0210
By David Gutierrez
Not enough fruits and vegetables are produced or imported to supply every resident of the United States with a healthy diet, researchers from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have concluded.
“If everyone wanted to eat healthily, there would not be enough,” said the institute’s Susan Krebs-Smith.
In coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the NCI researchers analyzed how much food of various kinds is produced, imported and distributed in the United States. They also calculated national rates of exercise.
The researchers found that there are not enough fresh fruits and vegetables in the U.S. food supply to supply the recommended five servings per person per day. In part, this food shortage may be produced by lack of demand due to unhealthy eating habits.
Supplies of less-healthy but more popular foods, on the other hand, are abundant.
“The fruit in the food supply is about half what it needs to be, but we have plenty of calories from fat and added sugars,” Krebs-Smith said.
“The food supply does supply enough meat and beans.”
To make matters worse, studies suggest that the typical U.S. eater drastically underestimates the amount of junk food they eat. And while a maximum of about 11 percent of a person’s daily calories should come from sugary or fatty snacks, the typical U.S. consumer actually relies on such foods for 38 percent of their daily energy intake.
At the same time, the National Cancer Institute found that less than 5 percent of the U.S. population gets the recommended minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day. Yet 30 to 40 percent of those polled consistently estimate that they get enough exercise.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that obesity and physical inactivity together are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal and kidney cancers.