Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Insanity of Our Food Policy

This is a wonderfully written article by Joseph Stiglitz highlighting the blatant anachronism that characterizes the modern implementation of the farm bill. What was once a necessary crutch in the Depression era has now morphed into a bloated, twisted version of its original form. This is not entirely dissimilar to our public education system (detailed in the film Waiting for Superman), which is still largely outdated and built on a 1950's style model where most graduates went into the skilled trade/manufacturing sector.

It's morally reprehensible that the wealthiest of all farmers are being paid yet more money to propagate industrial monoculture (corn), which is used to make cheap, processed foods that are mostly terrible for everyone. Even worse, it's the only kind of food that low income individuals on SNAP can currently afford (at a meager $4.39 a day ration). 

What we really need to do is to take the huge sum of money that propagates unhealthy industrial monoculture and re-allocate it SNAP and to educating low-income families about healthy eating. Given that 15% of the population lives in poverty, there's a huge potential for savings in healthcare dollars!

 If we still can't stop pandering to the wealthy farmers, maybe we should just give them the money we saved on healthcare! At least they would steal from a poor person who is food-secure and has fewer medical bills to pay. Actually, I would just be happier if everyone boycotted foods with corn syrup and the mega-farmers went out of business, but then again, you'd have about 10 corn-free foods to choose from in this country. 

Is anyone else as disgusted by this as I am? 


  1. Right on -- and also some attention to how SNAP is structured, once funds are available, to foster healthier purchases, e.g., see:

  2. Why do liberals always want to ‘re-allocate’ or ‘re-distribute’ (ie taking my earned money and giving it to those who don’t work)? What we need to do is get rid of all subsides and taxes. What we need is to give these people JOBS. Cutting taxes and giving job creators the incentive to create jobs so that people don’t need food stamps in the first place is the way to go. Let the free market work.

    I’m also not buying the idea that an obese person should be getting food stamps. If they’re obese, that means they’ve consumed too much food. Stop spending my tax dollars to make them more obese and increasing medical costs. Have you ever heard of the concept of ‘individual responsibility?’ I know it is a crazy idea, but liberals continue to perpetuate this culture of dependency with their income ‘re-distribution’ nonsense.


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