So in answer to my earlier post today about new obesity issues, earlier post today about new obesity issues, a friend wrote me off list and asked Is Obesity really a political issue? Isn't it an issue of personal choice.
We had a great discussion and this was my answer to her, which I thought would be good to post up here as well...
Is Obesity really a political issue??? I see it as political, because like most of our problems in the states these days, unchecked corp. interest is a large culprit. Subsidized big ag, grows 200% more corn and soy than we can use, so that gets pumped into processed food, animal feed, and high fructose corn syrup. Which keeps our food costs low, but our heath care costs high.
i see it as a political issue because we do not cover heath care or
promote prevention education and information, and then we do not cover
health care once people are sick, and this is largely related to diet
in the usa.
food stamps until recently were not reimbursed if accepted by local
farmers markets. that was a political issue
Big ag is also given all sorts of environmental leeway from the
government, make it easier to grow food even if pesticides are bad for
us, and we are polluting the environment. use GM even at the expense
of knowing the long range effects. did you know that they suspect that
gm corn is killing all the bees, which will have a huge impact on
we grow and create an average of 3500 calories of food per day per
person in the states. even children, and the corp. structure is set up
to encourage people to consume that- via advertising, school lunch
programs etc. etc. even though it is at least 1000 calories more than
a adult needs.
Food business actively participates in disinformation campaigns. And
there is no labeling or advertising over site.
we finally stopped cigarette companies from using cartoon characters
to advertise using cartoons but even though diabetes is on the rise in
kids we target a lot of our processed food marketing to Kids
the list goes on and on, and it will require legislation and people
powered political movements to get the word out.
Also the FARM bill is a huge part of this effort and that is certainly
political. It sets up a system of food production that favors big ag,
food processors, and trucking food all over the country and makes it
harder to stay in business if you are a local small farmer.
anyway. all of life has some political connection, but this certainly
seems like a huge political issue to me. You said it is an economic,
poverty and health issue, but since all of those should be political
issues, then food would be as well.
just my thoughts on it. I think by saying it is not a political issue
we give our legislators a pass on concerning themselves with laws and
systems that would make our food nutritious, affordable, and
Just like our fuel consumption is Not sustainable, our current food
production processes cannot be sustained into the future. we are
killing our land, water supply, using fuel and killing ourselves.
last estimates were that 33% of green house gas emissions in the usa
are related to agriculture, food processes and food transportation.
I think of it less as reaching out to people to say be involved in
this Politics issue- and more recognizing that if we don't get our
government to change some key pieces of legislation there is no end in
even if people ate smarter, getting access to good food, and getting
big ag to do the right thing would require a change in laws. Remember
they are also growing and shipping gm, and big ag food, and processed
food all over the world, esp. to deveioping countries.
thanks for asking. as you can see I have too much to spout off on with
all of this...
Would like to hear your thoughts....