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The Root of the Problem

I believe many of our society’s chronic health problems could be resolved if attention was paid, at the highest levels of government, to the root problem – our agricultural subsidies.

If growers of subsidized fresh vegetables were in a clear majority, you might start to see some fine advertising campaigns promoting the consumption of those veggies…

Unfortunately, the Department of Agriculture is deeply entrenched with the agri-business, and current legislations protect the profits of these large industries at the expense of public health.

In fact, the agriculture lobby is more powerful than even the pharmaceutical industry! You don’t hear about it as often, but the ramifications of their political influence are just as hazardous to your health as that of Big Pharma.

Sadly, you also see this influence in nutrition science. It is actually not designed to help you make sound dietary choices but rather to allow food companies to make health claims to increase profits, and this is a primary reason why you cannot get sound dietary advice from your government.

Take the Food Pyramid, for example. Back in 2005, when the updated food pyramid was unveiled, nutritionist Luise Light, a former USDA insider and contributing architect of the original version of the Food Guide Pyramid, exposed how the US government bows to industry interests and plays a key role in the obesity epidemic.

As this recent New York Times article states, “Thanks to lobbying, Congress chooses to subsidize foods that we’re supposed to eat less of.”

US Government Subsidizes Fast Food

The food crops currently subsidized are corn, soy, wheat and rice. What do you end up with?

A fast food diet!

And what many fail to remember (or don’t realize) is that the farm bill has a direct impact on what your child gets fed in school, for example, and what food assistance programs will distribute to poorer households.

It’s quite clear that the farm bill creates a negative feedback loop that maintains the status quo of the standard American diet. Because by subsidizing the farming of corn and soy, the US government is also actively supporting a diet that consists of these grains in their processed form, namely high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and grain-fed cattle – all of which are known contributors to obesity and chronic diseases.

(In addition, let’s not forget that the vast majority of these two crops are also genetically modified, which in and of itself is a major health hazard!)

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is perhaps the most obvious example of how the farm bill destroys health, as opposed to promoting the production of food that is actually worthy of being called “food.”

HFCS is in TENS of THOUSANDS of food products. If it’s processed, it probably contains HFCS; oftentimes it’s one of the top three ingredients. With everything we now know about how HFCS and other sugars create obesity and chronic disease, it’s no wonder we have a health care crisis on our hands!

Our federal food policy reaches to the very core of our everyday lives; the core of our health. Unless the food policy is addressed and corrected, little progress will be made to improve the current health care crisis.

The links are clear: These food policies directly impact what and how we produce our food, which impacts disease rates, which in turn drive health care costs into the stratosphere.

The average American is now 10 pounds overweight, which translates into $250 billion in added yearly health care costs, not to mention a shorter lifespan.

Farm Bill Also Promotes Excessive Fossil Fuel Consumption READ MORE