Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Food for thought and American Gluttons (for Punishment or Nourishment?)

"Put another way, when we eat from the industrial-food system, we are eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases." --- M. Pollan http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?_r=2&scp=2&sq=pollan&st=cse

Kudos Mr. Pollan both for your outstanding rhetoric and for your citizenship. When my mother decries the medical establishment's treatment of diabetics (she's a PRN with a diabetic son), I often retort sarcastically "The cure for diabetes is to grow and harvest your own food then eat it". I feel for her and for those with a genetic predisposition, but sometimes harsh words are necessary to draw attention to difficult situations. The question for the president is a complex one. Do we treat the causes of the health care crisis by addressing behaviour and mandating change? Do we continue to punish the poor and lower middle class with food that is causing their health to deteriorate? Do we continue to favour large farms over family farms with corrupt and outdated legislation sponsored by lobbyists and lawyers (I hate them by the way) who wouldn't know a turnip from a beet? Where do we begin to put our legislative foot down without stepping in cow/pig shit? Methane production on industrial farms is being treated as a marketable commodity. How is that an incentive for sustainable land use? Ethanol and corn syrup each have their own lobby along with advertising budgets, and yet, we already consume more corn than we can possibly justify nutritionally. Thank God for subsidies. The economy is failing because of its remarkable even unprecedented reliance on debt and we tell farmers debt is a way of life they must embrace if they want to raise children and send them to college. Where does this end? It does not, quite frankly I could go on but I am weeping and depressed. Good luck President Elect Obama. YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT.

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