We Americans seem to be in trouble. Three-fifths of us are overweight, including a third of our children, the first generation predicted to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Rates of diabetes and the host of obesity-related diseases have exploded, but so have allergies, reproductive disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and many types of cancers.
We’re told, often enough, that as a society we Americans just don’t get enough exercise. Apparently we’re intellectually lazy, too, pretty ignorant about sound nutrition and how to make the best food choices.
For those who believe this, our national character explains a lot about why we lead the world in developing the so-called “diseases of civilization.” What it doesn’t explain is why the rest of the world gets fat, and sick, too, when we export our diet. Could there be something wrong with the picture of the lazy, slothful American.
Could it be something we ate? Read More
The starting point for making intelligent decisions must always begin with good information. Yet, as more and more of us are discovering, good information surrounding food is not so easy to come by. Much of the information that we need to make the healthiest, and safest, choices is obscured or deliberately kept from us by those who profit from our lack of awareness. Nutrition science is too often co-opted by corporate bankrolled academics whose “research” invariably benefits the products and practices of Big Food. Our own government is complicit in allowing food industry lobbyists to manipulate and control the discourse on food policy.
That puts a lot of responsibility on the consumer. We’re going to have to learn to separate the science from the spin. We’re going to have to empower ourselves with the knowledge we need to know why, and where, our broken food system needs mending.
Few of us can grow our own food today or obtain it from small farms where we know how it’s raised. Today our food sources are mostly supermarkets, restaurants, vending machines. And while we enjoy the conveniences of our modern, industrialized food supply system, we’re also at its mercy.
As fewer and fewer big players have come to dominate this system, real food choice for the consumer is disappearing. We don’t really know what we’re eating anymore. In the absence of sufficient testing or monitoring to determine human health impact, we don’t even know that it’s safe.
Healthy eating has become a struggle. In fact, it’s become a battle in which many powerful forces are aligned against us and the role of personal choice is disappearing.
As fewer and fewer big players come to dominate our industrialized food supply, our food choices are narrowing. Our supermarket shelves look abundant and varied, but a relative handful of corporate conglomerates manufacture almost every product we see there. These are made from only a very few foods which our farm and tax policies subsidize.
As biodiversity disappears, the environment degraded, and animals abused, our food environment is becoming more obesogenic and dangerously toxic. We are increasingly left to choose only from those foods which are making us sick and directly contributing to the obesity epidemic and to exploding health care costs.
Our regulatory agencies further deprive us of choice by upholding labeling laws that obscure what we’re eating. By preventing us from knowing what pesticides we’re ingesting, or which foods are genetically modified. By upholding marketing and packaging tactics that target our children and put them at risk for developmental disease and chronic disorders. By subverting science in the interest of agribusiness profits.
We think it’s time to fight back! READ MORE
After two years of research and writing, the print publication of The Great American Food Fight is right around the corner.
In direct contrast to the “you’re too fat, you’re too lazy, you’re too ignorant” memes we’ve grown accustomed to hearing, this book exposes the ways that the American consumer has been victimized, exploited, and maligned in the global obesity epidemic.
It explains how our food choices are being made for us, not by us, and throws the spotlight on the critical food battles that consumers absolutely must win if we and our children are to have long, healthy lives.
It pulls back the curtain on the nutritional misinformation that continues to be disseminated to the public in spite of scientific support. It offers specific and immediate help for families in reading between the lines of food labeling, in understanding food dangers, and eating as safely as possible while, together, we bring about change. READ MORE