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Are Subsidized Foods Making America Fat?

August 25, 2019

The most subsidized foods in America include corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, dairy and livestock.

These foods sound healthy enough, right?

The problem is that they are rarely eaten in their natural form, that is, the way that Mother Nature intended you to eat them.


Seriously, when's the last time you ate unprocessed wheat? 

Heck, while I'm here, did you know that modern white wheat flour is pretty much dead? as in it contains no nutritional value?  It is so devoid of nutrition that it must be fortified with synthetic vitamins to be classified as food.  And this is what we are eating.  What we are feeding our KIDS!

What about sorghum?  Have you ever intentionally/knowingly eaten it?

Dairy sounds innocuous, but have you EVER had unprocessed dairy? 

I am referring the raw stuff, straight from the cow? (Raw milk has been wrongly demonized so you probably haven't!  If not, then you don't know what you are missing.) 

Soybeans and corn are a little easier to come by in their whole state, but they are also two of the most common genetically modified (GMO) foods out there, and I remain wary of the quality and safety of GMO foods.

Livestock are subsidized through the cheap grains that allow feedlots and other confinemed animal farming operations (CAFOs) to raise meat so cheaply. But, you are what you eat, and so you are also what your food ate.

According to a report in JAMA internal medicine, more than half of America's calories come from subsidized foods.  The report was compiled from interviews and physical exams which assessed the health and nutritional status of more than 10,000 Americans.  This report found that a comparison between people who ate the greatest amount of subsidized foods with those who ate the least amount, found that those eating the most subsidized foods had a 37% higher risk of being obese, 41% greater risk of having belly fat, a 34% higher risk for elevated inflammation, were 21% more likely to have elevated blood sugar levels, and had a 14% higher risk of abnormal cholesterol.

Translation:  subsidized foods are major contributors to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. 

Our government is financing these mostly preventable illnesses through subsidies.

How do we correct this?

Is the answer to stop subsidizing corn, wheat, soy, sorghum, rice, dairy and livestock?  I'm not sure. 

There's a lot that goes into this.  For one, we have to change America's eating habits.  Perhaps subsidizing healthy foods, such as fresh and in season fruits and vegetables and pastured meats is the answer.  Maybe, but probably not, because that's not enough.  People need to understand the power of food.  Food can medicine, but certainly not all food.  We need to learn to cook, to experiment with our food.  Teach our children about healthy eating, where food comes from (you'd be surprised at how many people do not know where their food comes from... ) and how to cook.

Perhaps we tax these subsidized foods?  Subsidize the good foods?  Thus increasing the costs of these low quality foods while reducing the costs of healthier alternatives?

Japan sets an excellent example in their schools.  There, food and nutrition education are vital parts of early education, so much so that school lunch is considered a part of education and not a break from it.  Children participate in food prep, serving and cleanup!

Schools are the ideal place to introduce children to all of these basic concepts, gardening, food sourcing, raising livestock, cooking, and we mustn't forget cleaning up after cooking...  Unfortunately, this will probably never happen. 

We have to make these changes at home, for ourselves. 

We have to make the commitment to our health, spend more money for quality nutrient dense whole foods (after all, you get what you pay for). 

Set aside the time to purchase and prepare these foods, not just for our families, but WITH our families. Shopping, cooking and eating can all be done as a family.  Cleanup too!

Amie Herrera

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with customization by Grapevine Local Food Marketing