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Carrots from my Garden - Photo taken May 1, 2017 - Garland, Texas

Indeed!  Food in America is a profit racket and we are not only the prey, most of us wholeheartedly support and sustain this racket.

In ancient times, an invading army might poison the food or water supply in order to conquer an enemy.  Today we don’t have to worry about an invading army; we are doing the job just fine ourselves.

Today’s situation regarding the management of our food chain and agricultural efforts reminds me of the statement by the cartoon character, Pogo:  “We have seen the enemy and it are us.”

  • Our government (us) has devised long-term agricultural policies that support production of low-nutritional commodity grains over nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits legumes and nuts.  Every year we turn over billions of our taxpayer dollars as corporate welfare to support large agricultural monopolies like Cargill and Con-Agra.  (Have you ever stopped to consider that the ultimate goal of capitalistic “healthy” competition is the establishment of a monopoly and what that really means to the majority of us—higher prices and fewer choices.   If they do anything, instead of supporting established monopolies, our government should be helping to fund their competition.)

  • Our government (us) restricts funding for nutrition research, the school lunch program and childhood-obesity prevention initiatives.

  • Our food industry (supported by us as consumers) produces an overwhelming variety of extremely low-quality food products derived predominantly from cheap grain commodities and artificial additives.

  • Our food industry aggressively markets those products throughout society, especially to children (ensuring brand loyalty from early in life).

  • We allow our schools to franchise their cafeterias to fast-food companies and sell junk food in vending machines.  A perfect local example of this is the city where I live.  They gave PepsiCo—a junk food company—the franchise for delivering summer lunch programs to schoolchildren.  Ever the activist, I went to our leadership and ask how they could do this.   I was told that PepsiCo offered the most competitive bid.  Well of course they did.  We need to ask our local governments to start thinking more creatively on these deals.  Instead of one large corporate fast-food company who will dictate the menu for the program, why not create the healthy menu ourselves and send out to the bid to be handled by several local caterers.  Such an approach would be MUCH better for our local economy—even if the bid itself might cost more.  Most of the money earned by giants like PepsiCo do not stay to be circulated in the local communities.  When considering “cost” our local governments need new measuring sticks that go beyond the “bottom line.”

  • Academia and professional health associations accept funding from the food industry and from pesticide and herbicide manufacturers.  And this is supposed to produce unbiased research?
    [Source for non-italicized information in the bulleted items:  Always Hungry- David S. Ludwig MD PHD- 2016- Grand Central Lifestyle – New York – Boston] – A New York Times Bestseller

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So what can YOU do about it?

1.  Grow Some of the Food You Eat

One great starting point is to start growing some of the food you can eat.  This is a giant step in turning your focus to healthy food and increasing the desire for more.  Get your kids out in the garden and away from the food industry's insidious programs to make children into brand-robots who scream for Co-Co Puffs.

One thing is almost certain, if you grow some of the food you eat this year, it’s highly likely that you will grow more next year.  It doesn’t matter if you live in an urban area, there is always a sunny spot somewhere in your yard or patio.  If you don’t have a yard or patio, find a community garden.  If there are no community gardens in your area, take steps by contacting your local government to establish one.

If you’ve ever tasted a tomato you picked from your garden you’ll understand exactly how the food you grow is superior to the food you purchase in a grocery store.

2.  Start reading the labels on the processed food you purchase.  Take your children with you to the grocery store and teach them as well

Avoid foods with high sugar or salt content.  Add those that include “corn” in the label and you’ll really be on your way to a healthier diet.

3.  Forget the nutrition myths we’ve been fed:

“All calories are alike.”  No.  All calories are NOT alike.

“There are no bad foods.”  Yes there are bad foods and most of them are the over-processed corn-based products that we consume.

“Just eat less and move more.”  This is not a solution because 1) all calories are not alike and 2) there are “bad foods”.

4. Become aware of how the food industry manipulates you. 

According to David Ludwig, a practicing endocrinologist, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and professor of nutrition at Harvard Medical School of public health:  “. . . The food industry manipulates three basic flavors—sweet, fat, and salt—to make modern process food irresistible. These exceedingly tasty products over stimulate the pleasure circuits in the brain, leading to compulsive eating behaviors.  Remember the Lays potato chip slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one”? . . . .” 

They planned it that way folks.

You can and should fight back by learning more about good nutrition--your health and that of your children depends on it.

Even though the odds are stacked in the favor of our established and government subsidized entrenched food industry with all its lobbyists in DC we can still take steps to educate ourselves and our community in regard to the food we should be eating—even though most of it is not on the shelves of our local supermarket.

Let’s take back at least some of the control we have over the food we put in our mouths by refusing to consume food laced with pesticides and sugar and salt additives.

The very best way to do this is to grow as much of the food we eat ourselves.

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