Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?

That's a good question, and the answer is simple: Subsidies.  But before I get into that, I must confess that I dined out at restaurants twice this past weekend.  It was Mother's Day weekend, and I guess I felt a little "entitled" to a couple of meals out.  A little beside the point of the title of this post, but still important because at least a portion of the conversation over both meals was about what's wrong with our nation's approach to food and why so many of us are literally addicted to fast food. 
Well, I think this picture pretty much sums it up.  Even if you disagree with the Federal Nutrition Recommendations (on the right), the mismatch between Federal Subsidies for Food Production (on the left) and what the actual recommendation is for our "healthy" consumption is extremely clear.  The disparity is HUGE.  It's political and it's all about money.  There, I said it!
And here's an even more provoking thought:  If Big Agra wasn't controlling most of our food supply, we probably would not need Big Pharma, and quite likely, we would not be in the health care crisis we are in as a nation.  One feeds the other, which feeds the other, which feeds, well, you get the idea.  And that is why a salad costs more than a Big Mac.

Do I have the answer to fix this problem?  Not exactly.  But, I would suggest that not until the Federal Subsidies more closely match the Federal Nutrition Recommendations will we come even close to solving the issues.  But, who is willing to pony up for that?  After all, who wants to piss off Big Pharma and Big Agra?  Who wants to lose their political action committee funds when it comes time for re-election?  Who wants to lose their lobbying and corporate sponsorship money?  I will tell you who should... the same people we all voted into office to represent us and our well-being as a nation, that's who!  Maybe we shouldn't vote them in or re-elect them if they continue to ignore what is truly in our best interests.  Maybe we should tell them what we think about it.   In case you'd like to:

US Senate

US House of Representatives

Food for thought.  Now go enjoy a salad.  You're worth it!

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