Tuesday, August 15, 2006

You're Fat and You Need Government Help

There are more obese people in the world now than there are undernourished people, according to comments presented at the annual conference of International Association of Agricultural Economists. Simply put, worldwide humanity is quickly becoming fat and fatter and market manipulation is viewed as a solution.

Barry Popkin says government intervention or a manipulation of pricing on "unhealthy foods" may be the way to reduce the fat:

But all countries have failed to address the obesity "boom," Popkin said. Food prices may be used to manipulate people's diets and tilt them towards healthier options, he suggested.

For instance, if we charge money for every calorie of soft drink and fruit drink that was consumed, people would consume less of it. If we subsidize fruit and vegetable production, people would consume more of it and we would have a healthier diet," Popkin said."

Marketing - not as in going to one, but as in advertising to consumers - is seen by some as the real culprit here. Rules over adverstising, existing federal guidelines which are often deeply deceptive, and an enormous increase in the reliance on processed foods do not make it simple for the average person to even comprehend what foods we eat and what we don't.

A recent interview with writer/author Michael Pollan says we have to become "food detectives" to discover what we are really eating in America -- mostly corn and sugar. Then of course, there are the cows fed chicken poop, which we then eat, and that supermarkets are the worst places to get good food. Yeah, and which government agency decided to allow for crap and meat to be fed to chickens and cows??

Read the interview with Pollan here.

And put that bag of "go-food" down and take a dang walk, people.

Or wait until Nanny Government, pushed by industrial needs and fearful consumers, dictates what your daily intake of calories will be.


  1. carpenterjd10:13 AM

    I find it puzzling that we can't afford real, actual, honest-to-god agricultural products. What we can afford is the processed food served to us in frozen packets, styrofoam or cardboard containers, and loaded with as much sugar as was produced in the entire 17th century in one meal. I can't afford to eat healthy. I would plant a garden but then were would I get my fix of preservatives and sweeteners?

    Besides, If I get real fat, maybe I can have my own episode of Ricki, or Maury, or Jerry, or The View. I might even be able to come up with a reality show idea, make millions and then be able to afford healthy food.

  2. You said it, man. What is easy to get is high fructose corn syrup and processed meats. I don't see why it isn't automatically linked in every report regarding obesity that the fast food and soda revolution occured at exactly the same time as the fat boom.

  3. I went to the open house at my daughter's elementary school last night. Fourth graders in her class were HUGE. I don't mean chubby, big-boned or husky, but plain fat. There are very few reasons for a 10-year-old boy to weigh 100-plus pounds, or a 10-year-old girl to look like they're nine months pregnant. And of course, there were lardass parents bitching about the Knox County Schools policy that bans junk food in cafeterias. Mark my words, in ten years they'll start stapling babies stomachs in the maternity ward. Circumcision and gastric bypass all in one go!

  4. LOL, Stormare!
    The interview with Pollan in this post says the average american is chugging down hundreds of pounds of corn and sugar each year -- obesity is another form of malnourishment.
    But yep, we seem to prefer everyone adapt to bad habits and quick foods rather than find the foods which make us healthy.

    Stapling stomachs is the new Nose Job.

  5. Yea, but what to do with all that extra skin?

    Answer, eat it after it has been processed of course.

    I knew a girl who went from 350 lbs down to 150 after gastric bypass and she was loose in her skin like a rabbit her skin hung of her knee caps it was odd to say the least.

  6. Don't get me started on high fructose corn syrup and government corn subsidies.

    Just don't.

  7. Hello Everyone,

    If interested Organically Speaking a Seattle base website has released a conversation with Michael Pollan podcast (audio conversation). Interesting tidbits on farmers markets, CSAs, and more!

    Some Podcast Show Note Questions:

    Q) Why the price difference between conventional food and organic and how do we go about bringing down organic food prices?

    Q) How can small local organic farmers remain local in a capitalistic system?

    Q) What is the "Food Web" you briefly touch on in your book, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals.


    All the best,

    Holistic Conversations for a Sustainable World