If the government REALLY wasn’t involved with our food sources…

Check out this very intelligent article from The Equalizer:

Quit Whining, Soft Drink Manufacturers. You’ve Been On the Government Dole for Too Long!

A quote from the article: “Every year, for example, $10 billion of our taxes are handed out in subsidies to American corn farmers, which has had the effect since the effect of keeping corn prices below the cost of growing it. Our taxes then provide an indirect subsidy to soft-drink manufacturers in saving them about $243 million a year on high-fructose corn syrup, the sweetener used in almost all our soft drinks, according to a Tufts University study.”

It’s something we don’t often think about: our government so heavily subsidizes so many of our industrial crops that a) the farmers can barely make ends meet, b) prices stay articificially really cheap on a few items (usually not items that are particularly healthy) and c) the other foodstuffs can’t hope to compete.  It’s just…you know…wrong.

While I don’t necessarily think the soda tax is a bad idea, I’d rather see the subsidies go away…or equal subsidies emerge for things like organic produce or school lunch programs…

Then there’s this little tidbit  from a New York Times op-ed by Nicolas Kristoff, as quoted  in Jill Richardson’s soda tax post on La Vida Locavore:

“Let’s break for a quiz: What was the biggest health care breakthrough in the last 40 years in the United States? Heart bypasses? CAT scans and M.R.I.’s? New cancer treatments?

No, it was the cigarette tax. Every 10 percent price increase on cigarettes reduced sales by about 3 percent over all, and 7 percent among teenagers, according to the 2005 book “Prescription for a Healthy Nation.” Just the 1983 increase in the federal tax on cigarettes saved 40,000 lives per year…”

Makes you think, huh?

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Posted on April 10, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. it’s scary really, where political priorities are. which is too bad… since that’s not the point of why they’re up there representing us.

    really does make one think.

    • Well, they’re NOT really representing us! they are representing the folks who give them all the money get them elected to PRETEND they want to represent us! What do/can we do to change that?

  2. greenmomintheburbs

    Yup. I’m never sure whether to be depressed, scared, or angry. (So I generally opt for all 3)

  3. Think about the irony. We support the candy and soda industries on one hand. Then invest in anti-obesity programs on the other???

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