Food for Thought

There are a few things that get my goat, but what gets my biggest, fattest goat is the food industry in Western countries (including, but not limited to “first-world,” predominately white societies). The fact that I need call it an “industry” should more or less tell you the nature of the problem.

2398513475_c570cfb113_bEnter the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA. These are the guys who make the rules about food production, and they publish the Food Pyramid and recommended caloric and nutritional intake. But there’s a small problem with the FDA making these rules: a majority of the members are tied to or are in charge of factory farms. Conflict of interest? I’d think so. Why else would our original food pyramid have grains at the bottom? Fortunately, a few doctors went poking around this claim and came out with a spectrum of disastrous outcomes on health with such a diet. In light of this, they’ve changed the pyramid a little (MyPyramid!), but the sneaky bastards are still playing at the grain game. I should correct myself: the government-subsidized food stuffs game.

Why grain? And what’s with all the corn, soy, and peanut in everything? At some point in the early 20th century, the government decided to subsidize these items, granting incentives to farmers who agreed to grow them. Naturally, farmers jumped on board—maximize profit? Sounds good. But now so many farms have been converted, these few items are being produced in excess. Luckily, we’ve found creative ways to use them. Try reading the ingredients on packaged food. I saw orange juice the other day proudly advertised as “gluten free.” I’m sorry, but what is gluten doing in juice in the first place?

8603655199_f571045505_oThe recent phenomenon of gluten intolerance need not come as a surprise. We consume gluten and other corn, soy, peanut, and meat additives in far excess of what we realize, particularly when even our juices have them! Of course our bodies would begin to reject them, and the reaction is compounded by the recent phenomenon of genetically modified crops. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been scientifically altered from their natural forms in order to enhance production—thereby garnering even more reward from the government.

So let’s come back to the issue. It’s not that our government is full of idiots who can’t understand what a healthy diet looks like: the phenomenon is the government’s antiquated and ill-considered response to an expanding population (a population who demands meat!). More people equals more food, equals more land for food—that, and modifying the genes of seed strains to optimize nature. (Optimization—that should be the name of our generation: Generation Optimization.)

5723160949_079d365db7_bFactory farms dominate the show, so as a consumer, it becomes more expensive to buy organic (which is fucked up, considering they’re actually growing the real stuff). But if calling something “too expensive,” depends on your spending priorities. Everyone can do their part by buying foods labeled organic, or non-GMO (read: the FDA is also in charge of labels, so be careful not to trust products simply labeled “natural,” as this term isn’t regulated. Read carefully, friends.) If you do this, you are doing more than feeding your body what it’s designed to function on—you are joining a movement against fake food. You are standing up to our warped food industry and demanding them to produce the real stuff, please.

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