Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you're a thousand miles from the corn field--Dwight D. Eisenhower
I participated in group training for a marathon to raise funds for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society. We introduced ourselves and small groups headed out for our first training run.
While preparing to head out onto the trails I met a former oil lobbyist. He quietly mentioned his work and I decided what better partner for a pharmaceutical writer--and off we went. It was easier to befriend another scorned professional than spend the next 10 miles defending my work--or at least the language I used to define my responsibilities.
Things are quite different now in our modern era. The digital landscape has encouraged accessible data, investor reports, adverse event reporting, and even powerful advocacy groups where side effects, treatment successes, and failures are openly discussed.
But there is one topic not being discussed openly--food policy. We collectively anchor preventative strategies around proper nutrition and exercise but fail to caution our patients about the conflicting policies running just beneath the surface of food guidelines, nutritional recommendations, and a variety of other well-intended initiatives.
The Union of Concerned Scientists Science for a healthy planet and safer world
Founded in 1969 by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire.
Food subsidies are distributed to commodity crops--the type that are contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemics--think corn and soybeans.
You don't need me to tell you how agribusiness benefits industrial farmers at the expense of the small farm trying to grow the actual fruits and vegetables recommended by government agencies and treatment guidelines.
The U.S. currently spends close to $100 billion per year on food and farm programs—a substantial investment. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, U.S. food policy has become part of the problem; we are spending these vast sums, in many cases, to make matters worse.
Did you know the following government agencies impact or play a role in US agribusiness?
There are solutions but we need to be engaged and active upstream from pink ribbons, moonwalks, and disease awareness campaigns.