This is why there is an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
in the U.S.:
food deliberately engineered to make people eat until they get fat.
Georgia is not quite one of the fattest states,
but Lowndes County is one of the fattest counties.
There is something we can do, even while Big Food
continues to act like Big Tobacco.
On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis
pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and
discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies.
Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills
and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the
C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare,
private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity
epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial,
the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by
their skill in fighting one another for what they called
“stomach share” — the amount of digestive space
that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.
James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men
as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that
he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the
C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. “We were very
concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major
issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk
about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food
companies.” Getting the company chiefs in the same room to Continue reading →
I want to show a picture of my friend Brittney.
She’s sixteen years old.
She’s got six years to live.
Because of the food that she’s eaten.
She’s the third generation of Americans that hasn’t grown up within a food
environment where they’ve been taught to cook at home
or in school.
Or her mum. Or her mum’s mum.
She has six years to live!
More pictures of people with very round faces and rounder bodies:
This is a normal family, guys!.
We need to change normal.
That’s what Jamie Oliver wants to do.
Obesity leads to diabetes and heart disease.
And what leads to obesity?
Lack of exercise combined with food stuffed with
high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), salt, and fat
in massive portions.
Fast food has taken over the whole country, we know that.
Time to take it back.
I wish I could come up here today and hang up a cure for AIDS or cancer,
you’d be fighting and scrambling to get to me.
This, all this bad news, is preventable. That’s the good news.
It’s very preventable.
Vote with your food purchases.
Demand a food ambassador in every supermarket.
Demand big food businesses back food education.
Get the government to work with the fast food purveyors
to wean us off the fat, sugar, and salt.
Schools, ages 4-whenever: proper fresh food cooked from local sources on site.
Every child should leave school knowing how to cook ten recipes
that will save their life.
Corporate American should feed their staff properly.
You can care and be commercial.
That’s his prescription.
Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
All of this is overseen by a handful of giant corporations that control the growth, processing and sale of food in this country. Take Monsanto, for example. It has a patent on a custom gene for soybeans. Its customers are forbidden to save their own soybean seed for use the following year. They have to buy new seed from Monsanto. If you grow soybeans outside their jurisdiction but some of the altered genes sneak into your crop from your neighbor’s fields, Monsanto will investigate you for patent infringement. They know who the outsiders are and send out inspectors to snoop in their fields.
Food labels depict an idyllic pastoral image of American farming. The sun rises and sets behind reassuring red barns and white frame farmhouses, and contented cows graze under the watch of the Marlboro Cowboy. This is a fantasy. The family farm is largely a thing of the past. When farmland comes on the market, corporations outbid local buyers. Your best hope of finding real food grown by real farmers is at a local farmers’ market. It’s not entirely a matter of “organic” produce, although usually it is. It’s a matter of food grown nearby, within the last week.
Remember how years ago you didn’t hear much about E. coli? Now it seems to be in the news once a month. People are even getting E. coli poisoning from spinach and lettuce, for heaven’s sake.
Why are Americans getting fatter? A lot of it has to do with corn syrup, which is the predominant sweetener. When New Coke failed and Coke Classic returned, it wasn’t to the classic recipe; Coke replaced sugar with corn sweeteners.
High fructose corn syrup, bringing obesity, diabetes, and heart disease to a third or more of the U.S. population.
Perhaps it’s time to do something about this.
Before you say “there’s nothing we can do” consider that even Wal-Mart has changed its food buying habits due to customer demand. We vote every time we buy food, and the one thing big corporations don’t want to lose is customers.