Over the past thirty years there has been a unique pairing of an increased medical crisis, with a dramatic increase in processed food dependency seen by, but not limited to: rising medical costs, rates of obesity, medication costs, medication prescriptions, a rise in heat and eat foods, desserts, junk food, marketing for high cost medications, processed foods, and marketing for these foods.
At the end of the day, these are huge gains in large companies that spend millions on lobbyists who have strategically incorporated their business interests with the functionality of newly developed policies and bills over the past fifty years. As a nation, we are seeing the repercussions of letting our health be regulated by a profit-driven corporate sector influencing teams of politicians who oftentimes were lobbyists themselves, or have ties to these private sector companies. One hand is feeding the other at the expense of the nation’s health.
You see it every day in the news, and in person, if you have time to look. People are struggling to make ends meet, and spending thousands of dollars on medications to help reduce symptoms of deteriorating health. These are people struggling with diagnoses that could be reversed and/or prevented with a healthy diet. But when you see the foods people are living on, it is clear that diet is not the priority, it is the cost of the food. Eating healthy comes with a cost in this nation. For millions, this cost cuts into their health care and time needed for preparing meals, due to working long hours earn enough money to pay for a rise in cost of living. This is a vicious cycle that has millions of people caught like a mouse in a trap. They are baited, then BAM.
Now what are policy makers doing to improve these costs? Nothing. In fact, these corporate companies are growing and increasing the costs, and the foods that correlate with the rise in obesity are continuing to be the cheapest foods to purchase. These fixed low prices are centered on unrealistic food costs for companies producing these foods, thanks to agricultural subsidies magically comprised of the crops yielding the ingredients needed to make these processed foods. The subsidy program is needed to support hard working farmers across the nation who rely on secure purchasing markets for the crops they are growing. Without a secure market, these farmers struggle to make ends meet. This locks farmers into production of a crop that is subsidized to make a living.
Dive into the money pool a bit deeper, and you see the seed companies of these subsidized crops monopolize a market of patented genetically modified seeds that need to be paired with chemicals that these companies also produce to ensure optimal crop production. Unfortunately, these growing practices are destroying the ecosystems across this nation. In addition, they’re contaminating water supplies and compromising health of farmers, consumers, and communities in ways that are just starting to be understood, but not accepted. And yet no changes.
So let’s look at what is going on in a few main key points:
As a population, our nation has seen a dramatic decrease in health and, for the 1st time in history, lower rates of longevity of people than their predecessors.
Medication costs, medical costs, and medical insurance costs are skyrocketing. This leads to a need for a poorly managed work-life/ home-life balance to make ends meet, which only makes these costs increase. Health is not a main concern, because the symptoms of poor health are masked by more medications. This feeds the pharmaceutical industry and medical insurance industry. While the experts in the medical field are like hamsters, running in wheels to try and keep up with a medical industry driven by medical insurance coverage, which dictates patient care.
There’s a rise in obesity. This leads to health decline, due to a diet focused on cheap processed foods made from subsidized crops. The subsidy program forces farmers to grow certain crops that are subsidized not because they want to, but because that's where the money is secure for sales in the product they grow. Without secured pricing of the products these farmers grow, a life on the farm is nearly impossible. This forces mono-cropping across mass areas and the use of chemicals to replenish soil health, as well as kill off pests in mass numbers. These chemicals kill hundreds of other insects, ultimately killing off ecosystems nationwide.
Demand change for your health; in your diet, for your community, for your world around you, before it’s too late and you are sucked into the circle.