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Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy
07-19-2011, 09:03 PM,
Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy

a one dollar hamburger provides all nutrients necessary to supplemnt body needs????

Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy
The real reason Big Macs are cheaper than more nutritious alternatives? Government subsidies

The easiest way to explain Gallup's discovery that millions of Americans are eating fewer fruits and vegetables than they ate last year is to simply crack a snarky joke about Whole Foods really being "Whole Paycheck." Rooted in the old limousine liberal iconography, the quip conjures the notion that only Birkenstock-wearing trust-funders can afford to eat right in tough times.

It seems a tidy explanation for a disturbing trend, implying that healthy food is inherently more expensive, and thus can only be for wealthy Endive Elitists when the economy falters. But if the talking point's carefully crafted mix of faux populism and oversimplification seems a bit facile -- if the glib explanation seems almost too perfectly sculpted for your local right-wing radio blowhard -- that's because it dishonestly omits the most important part of the story. The part about how healthy food could easily be more affordable for everyone right now, if not for those ultimate elitists: agribusiness CEOs, their lobbyists and the politicians they own.

As with most issues in this new Gilded Age, the tale of the American diet is a story of the worst form of corporatism -- the kind whereby the government uses public monies to protect private profit.

In this chapter of that larger tragicomedy, lawmakers whose campaigns are underwritten by agribusinesses have used billions of taxpayer dollars to subsidize those agribusinesses' specific commodities (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.) that are the key ingredients of unhealthy food. Not surprisingly, the subsidies have manufactured a price inequality that helps junk food undersell nutritious-but-unsubsidized foodstuffs like fruits and vegetables. The end result is that recession-battered consumers are increasingly forced by economic circumstance to "choose" the lower-priced junk food that their taxes support.

Corn -- which is processed into the junk-food staple corn syrup and which feeds the livestock that produce meat -- exemplifies the scheme.

"Over the past decade, the federal government has poured more than $50 billion into the corn industry, keeping prices for the crop ... artificially low," reports Time magazine. "That's why McDonald's can sell you a Big Mac, fries and a Coke for around $5 -- a bargain."

Yes, it is a bargain, but one created by deliberate government policy that serves the corn industry titans, not by any genetic advantage that makes corn derivatives automatically more affordable for the budget-strapped commoner.

The aggregate effect of such market manipulation across the agriculture industry, notes Time, is "that a dollar [can] buy 1,200 calories of potato chips or 875 calories of soda but just 250 calories of vegetables or 170 calories of fresh fruit."

So while it may be amusing to use Americans' worsening recession-era diet as another excuse to promote cultural stereotypes, the nutrition crisis costing us billions in unnecessary healthcare costs is more about public policy and powerful special interests than it is about epicurean snobs and affluent tastes. Indeed, this is a problem not of individual proclivities or of agricultural biology that supposedly makes nutrition naturally unaffordable -- it is a problem of rigged economics and corrupt policymaking.

Solving the crisis, then, requires everything from recalibrating our subsidies to halting the low-income school lunch program's support for the pizza and French fry lobby (yes, they have a powerful lobby). It requires, in other words, a new level of maturity, a better appreciation for the nuanced politics of food and a commitment to changing those politics for the future.

Impossible? Hardly. A country that can engineer the seemingly unattainable economics of a $5 McDonald's feast certainly has the capacity to produce a healthy meal for the same price. It's just a matter of will -- or won't.

David Sirota is a best-selling author of the new book "Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now." He hosts the morning show on AM760 in Colorado. E-mail him at, follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at More: David Sirota

Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son
07-20-2011, 03:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-20-2011, 03:27 AM by rockclimber.)
RE: Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy
American's could stand to eat less anyway. I am doing a diet called the warrior diet. Since doing it my bodyfat went from about 17% to about 10%. In short you graze/fast during the day, only eating a small handful of berries and leafy greens. You're stomach soaks up the nutrients while fasting. At night you can eat one big meal and you eat in a specific order. Start with your greens, cooked veggies, work your way into proteins, carbs then fats. It's not expensive at all considering the fact that you eat far less than you would on the conventional diet. IMHO the secret behind it in my opinion is calorie restriction. The biggest benefit is I FEEL GREAT! If I go back to any other diet I feel shitty.

The point is that most American's could do this diet, feel healthy and look better as a result of the fat loss. Every state in the US is FAT, EXCEPT for Colorado which is still 20% obese and on the rise and that state would have had the highest rate of obesity in 1995! I pay around $5 a week for the food I use for the graze during the week. My dinners consist of spinach ($4 a costco for 3pds) onions, brocolli and tomatoes, zuchini from my garden. (no dressing) a chicken breast, (or other lean meats like top sirloin once a week or fish once to twice a week) I then move into wild rice and almonds or walnuts for my fats. You eat until you are content an all these items are reasonable.

American's have got to start making smarter choices and demanding better food in our schools or we will continue to be the sickest nation on the planet...and last but not least..FUCK FAST FOOD! Do not give these cunts your hard earned money at the expense of your health!
08-03-2011, 08:15 AM,
RE: Why Americans can't afford to eat healthy
thanks for sharing this topic . The millions of Americans are eating fewer fruits and vegetables than they ate last year is to simply crack a snarky joke about Whole Foods really being “Whole Paycheck.” Rooted in the old limousine liberal iconography, the quip conjures the notion that only Birkenstock-wearing trust-funders can afford to eat right in tough times.
Thanks alot .

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