Thursday, July 7, 2011

America: Fat and getting fatter

Amazingly, the answer provided by the group performing the study is to do even MORE of the things that got us fat in the first place.

The definition of insanity is......

The answer to this problem isn't to put MORE kids on school meal programs but less. Even if you don't like Jaime Oliver and his Food Revolution thing, you have to admit the quality of food in public school lunches is abysmal at best.

The answer to this problem isn't to follow the lead of the USDA, it's to move AWAY from their recommendations. After all, since the inception of the "food pyramid" America has gotten fatter and fatter.

And the answer sure isn't throwing large amounts of money at the problem, or taxing sodas, or fast food or listening to the world's leading "nutritionists" on the matter. Hell, it's the nutritionists who are pimping for increased funding so that they can get more money to do studies such as this. The driving force behind modern day "prevention programs" is research, not the public good.

If scientists and government really wanted to help people they'd stop subsidizing soy, corn and beef and would open up the marketplace to a wide variety of fresh vegetables. Ending the subsidy on corn would a.) make it's price point more comperable with other vegetables and b.) raise the price of HFCS, which would raise the price of processed foods. Why tax an item on the back end that highly subsidized on the front end?

Government farm and fiscal policy, in many cases, was implemented in the interest of large multi-national food companies, and not the lowly farmers that Democrats & Republicans love to trot out in front of the cameras during election season. The single-family farmer is all but gone from America, excepting those who have learned to take advantage of the foodie, farmer's market fad and even they're just scraping by.

There's an argument to be made that time and technology have passed these groups by, that AGM and Cargill are the wave of the future. That might be so, but all I know is the tomatoes I grow in my back-yard mini garden taste much better than the red balls of wax I get at the store. Hell, even farmer's market tomatoes taste better.

The government isn't going to make one person less obese, despite their good intentions. What's going to change this trend is the public taking personal responsibility, taking a long look in the mirror and deciding that maybe 3 hamburgers for dinner just isn't a good idea any more. And while I don't advocate vegetarianism (and certainly not veganism, which is code for "fad eating") I do think that too many of us eat way too much processed and feedlot red meat.

That's why I'm a big fan of "The Omnivore's Delimma" and "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan. In neither of those books does he recommend a Government solution (although I'd be willing to bet he supports the soda tax). What he does recommend is taking ownership of your own diet, getting rid of the processed crap and eating a LOT more vegetables, a variety of vegetables at that.

In the end, that would probably be the simplest 'cure' of all for this epidemic, but there's no research money to be made and corporate profits would be low.

So the "tax everything we don't like" drum beat will continue, and America will get fatter. Experts will wonder why.

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