Monday, August 06, 2012

A Few Timely Remarks About The Industrial Food Goo Monopoly

What a surprise.  Artificial butter flavor is linked to brain dysfunction and illness.  I guess man has learned how to break the blood-brain barrier with "food".  That's a novel invention, albeit an unintended one.    Why do we keep approving all of these chemicals for use in our homes, our foods, our clothes and our society without any proof they are safe? 

We are most certainly the most poorly nourished nation on earth short of those living without food.   There is almost nothing at a traditional grocery store that isn't without some risk be it pesticides, artificial ingredients, or just flat out no nutritional value.  One could argue that no grains, be they processed or whole and nothing in a box, can or bottle offers any substantial nutritional value.   Our meats, fruits and vegetables are all tainted to some degree.    I read some work from a major food researcher that during the Clinton era, food companies introduced more than 12,000 new SKUs into grocery stores.  Food innovation courtesy of the corporate state. 

50 years ago the average grocery store probably had 300-1,000 SKUs.  Now the average grocery store has 50,000.   Some of that may reflect the ability to get more variety in natural products.  But,  I could safely conclude that 90% of those SKUs represent things we probably shouldn't be eating.  Did we invent new plants and animals to account for those increased SKUs?  We simply invented more boxed, canned and bottled, nutritionless, artificial versions of Soylent Green.  But, corporations have increased their profits and their productivity making things they shouldn't be making.  And, then used those profits to lobby politicians for even more favorable leniency in introducing even more unsafe foods.  A virtuous cycle of the invisible hand of self-interest that is unregulated capitalism.

The propaganda that the United States is the supermarket to the world is ridiculous.  Much of what we export arguably has little to no nutritional value or worse.   And, the only reason we export these items is because so many nations are either land-locked, deal with climate dynamics or the governments are too corrupt to allow sustainable food production in their countries.

Marion Nestle, who I believe is arguably the subject matter expert on the political corruption of food, just penned a piece on whether soda and fast food companies should be allowed to sponsor the Olympics.  I have a more fundamental question.  There is now conclusive research that sugar, caramel color additives and artificial sweeteners used in soda cause massive health issues, cancers and ultimately death in our nation.  Should these companies even be allowed to exist?   Do we not ban the production of PCBs and other harmful toxins?  What's the difference?   Oh yes, the free market idiots will argue that people should be allowed to do what they want including dying without health insurance and ingesting toxins because it is their God-given right.  But, more pragmatically, isn't government supposed to be the voice of reason and the voice of those without a voice?   Shouldn't the welfare of our nation be reflected in our public health policies rather than our public health policies being a reflection of political corruption?

It's quite likely your next trip to the doctor is because of what you stuck in your mouth.  Even if you don't realize it.

posted by TimingLogic at 2:20 PM