Do you remember the gist of the broadway hit "The Producers"? A bunch of deplorable broadway producers discovered a way to make more of a profit on a horrible play than on a hit! Primarily because who would check the unscrupulous accounting of a failed show? Overselling shares and taking off with the spoils before anyone is the wiser--what could go wrong?
Listening to recent discussions on the impact of smart and informed food policy on chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, The Producers came to mind. There seems to be hints of a sneaky scheme to keep a whole lot of people engaged with the disease-care paradigm of US healthcare.
For example, debates about the futility of GMO crops in improving yields or sustainability came to a pause with a recent article published in the New York Times, Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops.
Fears about the harmful effects of eating G.M. foods have proved to be largely without scientific basis. The potential harm from pesticides, however, has drawn researchers’ attention. Pesticides are toxic by design — weaponized versions, like sarin, were developed in Nazi Germany — and have been linked to developmental delays and cancer.
I would like to claim that the data is hidden but it is quite the opposite. Information about agriculture, crop values, percent of planted acres, and trends in yields are freely available with dashboards offering Quickstats, raw data, and other user-friendly analysis tools.
The graphic below shows how the increase in % of planted acreage favoring stacked herbicide-tolerant (HT) crops and insect-resistant crops (abbreviated Bt for the gene from the soil bacterium, bacillus thuringiensis) has evolved over the last 16 years.
Manipulation of our food supply will prove to be a major contributor to chronic diseases across our lifespan. Robyn O'Brien was a financial analyst working within the food industry when she asked, "Are we allergic to food or what's been done to it?" Listen to her interview below...
President Obama is also questioned about US Food Policy in a recent interview. Fast forward to 16:16 to hear a discussion about Food Policy and how far we still have to go. Investments in social determinants of health specific to our food supply, air quality, and water seem like meaningful campaigns to launch alongside Moonshots, Alzheimer disease advocacy, and Diabetes.
Mark Bittman shares his critical analyses as well with specific and actionable strategies for the next president. It is hard to ignore the asymmetric interest in advancing health by fast-tracking FDA review of drugs promising more and more innovation--let's face it. We will never out innovate human biology.
Now that we have the data--we need to approach storytelling and narrative discussions with a 360 degree view. Follow along...
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In a world of "evidence-based" medicine I am a bigger fan of practice-based evidence.
Remember the quote by Upton Sinclair...
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”