I put this in the Social Issues forum because I firmly believe that food, in general is a social issue. Our methods of acquiring food, what is in our
food and the companies who provide these ingrediants is of the utmost important in our 21st century society.
I've alway been a proponent for local grown produce and organic foods. I've been against most forms of GMO foods and continue to be against
anything which the death cult Monsanto brings to the table. That having being said, and my bias being put forward first, there is the issue of
legislation and Corporate influence within that legislation.
An interesting article that I've read from Black Listed News
will be the basis for this thread and the
The article begins with the general notion that America ( I extend this to North America) is increasingly unhealthy. We see statistics showing that
17% of children are considered obese and 1 out of 3 adults is obese in the US alone.
As staggering as those statistics are, this article makes some great points as to why we've failed to reign in our health problems, while at the same
time maintaining a healthy society.
Are taxes the answer?
Denmark is an interesting example of this type of policy. In 2011, the Danish government began taxing foods containing more than 2.3% saturated
fat, yet, due to strong pressure from the food industry in an already weak economy, the tax is now being repealed. Furthermore, the Danish public was
resentful for having to pay more for natural foods high in fat, such as butter, dairy products and meat.
“The purpose of food taxes is to reduce sales of the products concerned. In bringing in its fat tax, the Danish government also wanted to raise
revenue, reduce costs associated with obesity-related diseases, and increase health and longevity…. Anti-obesity tax measures in other countries
have tended to avoid targeting broad nutrient groups. Instead, they focus on processed foods, fast food or sugary drinks – all major sources of
calories. Taxing them seems like a more promising strategy.” – source: New Scientist
.Recently Dr. Oliver Mytton, Academic Clinical Fellow, and his colleagues at the University of Oxford had examined the effect that taxes can have on
public health. The research team found that taxing a variety of unhealthy foods would be most beneficial for public health, although if lawmakers were
to start somewhere, a tax on sugary drinks would quickly have a noticeable impact.
“… a US study found a 35% tax on sugar sweetened drinks ($0.45 (£0.28; €0.34) per drink) in a canteen led to a 26% decline in sales.
Meanwhile modelling studies predict a 20% tax on sugary drinks in the US would reduce obesity levels by 3.5%, and suggest that extending VAT (at
17.5%) to unhealthy foods in the UK could cut up to 2700 heart disease deaths a year.” – source: BMJ.com
As the article mentions, about 57% of the price of a pack of cigarettes is tax. This model has shown to be effective at curbing smoking rates, along
with educational material. Some statistics go as far as to say that there has been a decline of 50% in active smokers since the 1980's.
However IMO this is more due to the fact of the ever increasing medical documentation showing that cigarettes will contribute to your health's
decline over the long term. As well as removing easy access of the substance from children, who are no doubt the most influencial group of
However according to these studies carried out the rate of decline (3.5%) in certain health areas is hardly anything to jump up and down about.
Other kinds of legislation proposed in some countries is to subsidize organic markets as opposed to our traditional markets like corn. The article
also notes, that as organic farming has become more prevelant, large food companies are buying up these businesses with much haste.
What we've seen in our food industry in North America is that big business is given a green light on virtually anything put forward, and the small
organic, and no doubt more healthy folks are being given pink slips.
It's imperative, that we as citizens begin to demand proper behavior from food companies. The proper labelling of food, the proper packaging, the
proper growing and the proper ( insert whatever it is ) that is required to keep our society healthy.
Another point which the artlce touches on is that this unhealthy nation feeds the larges medical industry in the world. They are best served by
continuing to have more and more people fall into the hands of diseases such as diabetes and cancers.
Money is made on treatment, not on cures. Although I'm sure most doctors and medical professionals have a vested interest in keeping us healthy,
those who write the cheques and those such as big pharma, clearly have a vested interest in making money.
That does require you do have something they need to fix. What better way than to keep you unhealthy through your food choices.
Not only in the availability of any given product, but the cost of said product. Anybody who eats organic knows they can sometimes pay up to 3 times
the sticker price of a non organic item. Even them without proper labelling of food, who knows if what you receive is truly organic?
What are you thoughts ATS?