What is Food Supply Politics? I define it as the U.S. government’s harmful influence over the economics of food commodities. This influence drives the market forces which set food policy and health care agendas in the United States and worldwide.
The players in the political and financial theater of food supply economics include:
- the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
- the food processing industry
- the agricultural industry
- and the health care industry.
Each of these organizations plays a part in influencing the food supply market through the propagation of misinformation, and they use that influence to manipulate food consumers. These organizations are intent on the goal of profiting from the billions of dollars spent on food and health care each year, usually at public expense.
I believe food supply politics are endangering the supply of clean, whole foods and the effective provision of health care in America.
Clicking the graphic to the right will give you a summary of the players and tactics being used to ensure that American consumers continue to support these industries to the detriment of individual health and well being.
Breaking the Food Politics Monopoly
We, as American and world citizens, have the power to challenge the national food supply and health care monopoly that is endangering our food and health.
It’s as easy as opening your wallet. Through our vast numbers, we can drive change. We can dictate the market instead of having it dictated to us.
This is how you can take the food supply decisions out of corporate hands and into your own:
- Buy only whole, organic, real foods for yourself and your family. If enough Americans stopped buying processed foods, the food processing industry would be forced to change.
- Make sure that you pay attention to your food sources, and that you understand and support the benefits of sustainable agriculture, and the locally grown foods and naturally raised livestock sustainable farms to produce. Let’s funnel money to the farms which provide clean, whole foods, and stop supporting the production of pesticide-laced, nutritionally bankrupt foods produced by industrial agricultural methods. Check out the Local Harvest website and the Eat Wild websites to find sustainable farms in your area.
- If there are no locally grown foods from sustainable farms in your area, take control of your food supply by raising or growing your own foods if possible.
- Refuse to purchase commercial food products that come from confined feeding operations and factory farms. If we all stop buying these products, the corporations which run these horrible places will be forced to change the way they do business, and the animals will be able to live in the sunshine and open air as nature intended.
- Protest the devastation and potential dangers of genetically modified plants associated with industrial agriculture by refusing to eat the grain-based foods produced by these large scales, pesticide-intensive methods.
- Make sure that what is organic stays true to the organic movement by refusing to accept the cheap and false organic labels at discount chain stores like Walmart; or boost the true organic market by demanding that these same stores buy REAL organic products for resale.
- Learn about the history of the USDA food pyramid and the grain bias of the American food system, and avoid the health issues inherent in its advice. Instead, be open to the message that real foods like grass-fed meat, butter, and organic eggs are healthy and life-sustaining.
- Take control of your health by educating yourself. Treat your physician and hospital as helpful additions to your self-care, not the controllers of your care.
- Learn about the history and power of a whole food diet, and remember that you can choose alternative health care processes if they show a greater benefit.
- Realize that past scares of medical “epidemics” and their influence on our health care systems were not indicative of truth, and that the underlying factors of say, new methods of medical diagnosis or the incorrect conclusions of one or two scientists can drive a nation’s medical policy, even when these conclusions have nothing to do with evidence or true science.
The bottom line is that you can be an informed consumer, and vote for the truth with your wallet. You can be a member of the seeds of change, grassroots effort in this country to ensure our food supply is nutritious, life-supporting, environmentally sound and safe, and that our health care system really serves our health, not the financial interests of national health agencies, hospital corporations, and pharmaceutical companies.
More Information about How Food Supply Politics Supports Corporate Interests
It starts with the US Government’s obsession with agriculture. National policies on food supply, health, and nutrition are set specifically for the effect they will have on agricultural interests. Let me explain.
American nutrition and health guidelines are set respectively by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
For the past 40 years, the underlying message that has come from these two agencies (and in turn, all of the other national nutritional and medical organizations) is that consuming saturated fat and cholesterol will kill you, and the solution to that problem is to eat more whole grains and low-fat foods. It doesn’t matter that this message is in direct conflict with the actual scientific evidence of what constitutes a healthy diet.
What matters is the money. The effect of this message is to funnel vast sums of money into the agricultural industry, the food processing industry and the health care industry, all at the expense of the collective health and well being of the American public.
The money funnel starts with the USDA. The USDA food pyramid sets the standards for all federal nutrition programs, including school lunch programs in every public school, federal prison systems meals, senior citizen and food stamp programs, and other federally funded institutions. All of these institutions purchase and serve the low fat, whole grain food products the USDA food pyramid recommends.
In addition, the USDA also spends billions of dollars in farm subsidies each year to support the agricultural industry in America.
Lest you think this is a good thing in support of the small farmer, consider what the CATO Institute writes:
“Much of the farm subsidy payout goes to individuals and companies that clearly do not need taxpayer help. A Washington, D.C., think tank has posted individual farm subsidy recipients on its Web page to illustrate the unfairness of farm welfare for the well-to do. Farm subsidy recipients include Fortune 500 companies, members of Congress, and millionaires such as Ted Turner.”
University of Tennessee agricultural economist Daryll Ray says in his “Weekly Agriculture Policy Columns”:
“Current commodity policy is not a farm policy, it is an agribusiness policy. Why? Because other farm policy approaches could generate current or higher income levels without spending tens of billions of dollars annually in direct payments. But to allow agribusiness to a) maximize sales of fertilizer, seed, and chemicals and to b) maximize volumes processed and transported requires fence-row-to-fence-row production; which means unnecessarily depressed prices; which means unnecessarily low market incomes; which means large government payments, but it is agribusiness that gets the “increased” income, not farmers.”
Other national and international business sectors feed off of the money being funneled into the American agricultural industry. In particular, the food processing industry and our health care system both reap the financial benefits of reinforcing the “eat low fat, whole grains diet” message.
How the DHHS Influences Health Care
The DHHS sets the health policies of the nation through the influential subdivisions of the National Institutes of Health, the National Cholesterol Education Program, and the Federal Drug Administration.
Since the DHHS and its agencies are the “authoritative” source for nutrition and health information, the low fat, whole grain message gets propagated by the American media, well-meaning teachers in school classrooms and the vast majority of hospitals, physicians and dieticians. It doesn’t matter that the health advice the DHHS provides is not based on any sound evidence. The authoritative position of the DHHS overrides the lack of evidence, and most Americans assume they should listen.
In addition, most Americans follow the advice given to them by their physicians. They buy the drugs recommended to resolve health issues, and they choose foods that are low fat and whole grain. And the millions of dollars they spend go straight to the agriculture, food processing, and health care industries propagating the message.
The Problem of Bad Medical Advice
The problem is that the nutrition and health guidelines provided by the USDA and the DHHS are not based on sound medical evidence. Low fat, whole grain foods in large amounts are not healthy, and the American public hasn’t gotten any healthier following a low fat, whole grains diet. The food supply game played by the US government does not support human health.
In fact, after following the advice to eat a high carb, low-fat diet for the past 40 years, the United States has one of the highest adult and infant mortality rates in the industrialized world, despite the fact that the US spends more money on health care than any other country.
Heart disease and cancer are still the number one causes of death, even after millions of dollars have been spent on the research to conquer them. Diabetes and obesity rates are skyrocketing, and Alzheimer’s is a new threat to millions of Americans.
But the medical industry is profiting mightily. There are drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and drugs to control blood sugars and treat diabetes. The treatment of these diseases, which are exacerbated by low fat, high carb diet, is a very big business.
Curing these diseases is not in the best financial interests of the hospitals, pharmaceutical corporations or the medical industry in general. And changing the message about healthy eating is not in the best interests of the US Government, or the agricultural and food processing industries.
So, we have to help ourselves. We must become our own doctors and nutritionists and transform ourselves into savvy consumers, so we can combat the lies that threaten our well being.
Why should mainstream medicine, the big food processors and industrial agricultural corporations benefit from the slow destruction of our collective health? They shouldn’t, and we can put a stop to it. Incorporate the steps at the top of this page into your goal to take control.