The Revolving Door Between the Food Industry and the Government is Ever Turning

Many Americans also believe, mistakenly, that food sold on US soil must be good for them, or else the state and federal regulatory agencies would be taking action. But this ideal is laughable when those same government officials work for the very food companies they are supposed to be regulating.
Take, for instance, John Bode, a Washington attorney who served on the Senate Agriculture Committee staff and held three presidential appointments at the Agriculture Department. He became president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association in May of this year.
Then there’s Catherine Woteki, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientist and Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics, who previously served as Global Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars, Inc. Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, who became the deputy commissioner for foods at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet another example.
There are other close connections that most of the public isn’t aware of either. Dairy Management, which also includes theNational Dairy Council, has been aggressively marketing cheese to restaurant chains in efforts to increase sales. But we’re not talking about simply promoting consumption of a piece of cheddar cheese or a block of Gouda … this includes fast-food restaurants selling junk-food products like:
  • Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bites pizza
  • Wendy’s dual Double Melt sandwich concept
  • Burger King’s Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and TenderCrisp chicken sandwich (both of which contained three slices of cheese plus a “cheesy sauce”)
In other words, the government is not your ally here. They are working alongside fast-food giants like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Wendy’s and others to get you to eat more of their junk-food products, which happen to contain lots of (highly processed) cheese!

Should Soda Be Banned From Food Stamp Programs?

Most Americans are drinking far too much soda and other sugary drinks, a key culprit in rising rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and related conditions. Some brands, like Chubby’s from the Caribbean, are even marketed directly to children (and feature bottles designed to fit in a small child’s hand).
But, as the video highlighted, now a group of health associations, physicians and nutrition experts are calling for pilot programs that would restrict the purchase of sugary drinks by people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is already done for alcohol and tobacco, but the move to regulate what types of food and drinks a person is able to buy is new territory.
Increasing regulations like these may not be the solution, however, especially if the money spent on soda is simply put toward more heavily processed foods. While farmer’s markets do occasionally make it into the ghetto (and some do accept food stamps), the farmer’s market is an occasional institution, operating just one day a week. Fast-food franchises, on the other hand, pump out low-nutrient fare seven days a week, 365 days a year.
While it’s possible to make the healthy choice, under these conditions, it’s not easy.
There’s no denying, of course, that processed foods, whether soda or potato chips, will eat up your grocery budget in the blink of an eye, and will cause disease in the long-term. In reality, any money spent on junk food is a waste, and purging these items from your grocery list is the first step to eating right on a budget. Some of the healthiest foods are incredibly affordable,even under $1 a serving, such as:
  • Raw organic milk
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Two cage-free organic eggs
  • Avocado, berries and broccoli
  • Home-grown sunflower sprouts
  • Fermented foods you make at home
The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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