Thursday, June 14, 2007

On Obesity

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. She mentions that after WWII, the industry of farming really took off and commodity farmers began producing twice as many calories as we need. They do this because it is the only way they can survive as farmers. Then, naturally, the food industry began finding ways to market all these calories to the general public. This passage resonated with me today:

"Obesity is generally viewed as a failure of personal resolve, with no acknowledgment of the genuine conspiracy in this historical scheme. People actually did sit in strategy meetings discussing ways to get all those surplus calories into people who neither needed nor wished to consume them. Children have been targeted especially; food companies spend over $10 billion a year selling food brands to kids, and it isn't broccoli they're pushing. Overweight children are a demographic in many ways similar to minors addicted to cigarettes, with one notable exception: their parents are usually their suppliers. We all subsidize the cheap calories with our tax dollars, the strategists make fortunes, and the overweight consumers get blamed for the violation. The perfect crime."

I swear I am going to be a vegetarian again after this summer.

No comments: