How Congress Could Help Us Eat Better

Why do the people of the United States keep getting fatter and sicker?  One reason is that our federal government is using our tax dollars to make bad food cheap, instead of making good food affordable. It doesn’t have to be that way. Congress could decide to stop subsidizing the production of meat, dairy products, and refined sugars and instead subsidize the production and distribution of healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables. On July 28, 2011, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine issued a report explaining how Congress could go about doing that.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I saw the effects of our current agricultural subsidies personally. I saw field after field of corn and soybeans and alfalfa that were being grown to feed farm animals. I saw hardly any agricultural land dedicated to growing plant-based food for human beings to eat. I saw hundreds of fast food outlets, but only the occasional produce stand. So it should come as no surprise that more than a quarter of the adults in Ohio are obese.