Omnivore - How your tax dollars help make you fat

Michael Pollan, undoubtedly America's best writer about food politics, had a mind-blowing column in the Nov. 4 New York Times about the way our bloated farm subsidy programs add to the children's obesity epidemic and other health problems by supporting poor nutrition:

Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico.

As Pollan documents, the farm lobby simply buys off its critics by adding marginal programs to support healthy nutrition. Read the whole column here.

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