Thursday, May 24, 2007

We are paying farmers to help us get fat

American farm subsidies are producing food prices that help increase obesity—and this effect is greater the lower your income is.

For the last several decades [...] U.S. agricultural policy has been designed in such a way as to promote the overproduction of [corn, soybeans, wheat, rice, and cotton], especially corn and soy. [...] By comparison, the farm bill does almost nothing to support farmers growing fresh produce. A result of these policy choices is on stark display in your supermarket, where the real price of fruits and vegetables between 1985 and 2000 increased by nearly 40 percent while the real price of soft drinks (a k a liquid corn) declined by 23 percent. The reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the farm bill encourages farmers to grow.


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