Tuesday, January 5, 2010

LINKED: our Health Care System and our Food Industry

Not sure if you caught Michael Pollen on the Daily Show recently, but he made some great points when discussing his new book "Food Rules" regarding the links between our crappy diets and our crappy healthcare system.

All that processing and chemicals, dodgy unnatural fats, exotic corn and soy derivatives and acids, combined with lack of preventative medicine and regular excercise has made MOST western adults sick and/or obese over the last 20 years. Millions of people with cancers, diabetes, heart disease vying for treatment, health insurance companies trying to max out profits by minimizing care, exorbitant pharma prices in USA - these are the factors that we need to reverse somehow. Big job, where to start?

One hint...follow the Money. Money for politicians and political parties directly from the Industries have bought most of our congressfolk and senators, career politicians who spend most of their working hours in fundraising and opponent-bashing instead of governing.

Then to reform the actual Food Industry, changing bad practices that have been institutionalized, like factory farms and the overuse of Corn and corn products, as well as pharmaceuticals in feedlots. And to end the subsidizing of Wheat, Corn and Soybean production, which has lead to huge surpluses which in turn wind up as thousands of unhealthy processed food products and hydrogenated oils - THESE are the things that Can be done.

some facts about government-subsidized Factory Farms:
1. Factory farms are breeding grounds for the most dangerous viruses known to humankind, and for the most dangerous bacteria as well, including MRSA.
2. Factory farms are cruel to animals.
3. Meat from factory farms is by necessity full of antibiotics (to keep animals in such conditions from constantly being sick), which weaken the immune systems of people who eat the meat.
4. Waste from factory farms is a massive source of pollution, especially to rivers.
5. Factory farms funnel huge profits to a few, squeezing out the smaller farms that families used to make a living on.

Think we can do BETTER? I do.

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