The Role of Taxpayer Subsidies in the Obesity Epidemic

The Role of Taxpayer Subsidies in the Obesity Epidemic
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Why are U.S. taxpayers giving billions to support the likes of the sugar and livestock industries?

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The rise in calorie surplus sufficient to explain the obesity epidemic was less a change in food quantity than in food quality, with an explosion in cheap, high-calorie, low-quality convenience foods. And the federal government very much played a role in making this happen. U.S. taxpayers give billions in subsidies to prop up the likes of the sugar industry; the corn industry and their high-fructose syrup; and soybean production, about half of which is processed into vegetable oil, and the other half used as cheap feed to help make dollar-menu meat. Why do taxpayers give nearly a quarter billion dollars a year to the sorghum industry? When was the last time you sat down to some sorghum? It’s almost all fed to livestock. We’ve created a pricing structure that favors the production of sugars, oil, and animal products.

The farm bill started out as an emergency measure during the Great Depression of the 1930s to protect small farmers, but was weaponized by Big Ag into a cash cow with pork barrel politics—including said producers of cows and pork. From 1970 to 1994, global beef prices dropped more than 60 percent. If it weren’t for taxpayers sweetening the pot with billions of dollars a year, high-fructose corn syrup would cost the soda industry about 12 percent more. (And then we hand them more billions through the “food stamp” program to give sugary drinks to the poor.)

Why is chicken so cheap? After one of the farm bills, corn and soy were subsidized below the cost of production for cheap animal fodder, effectively handing the poultry and pork industry about $10 billion each. That’s not chicken feed—or rather, it is!

This is changing what we eat. Thanks in part to subsidies, dairy, meats, sweets, eggs, oils, and soda were all getting relatively cheaper compared to the overall consumer food price index as the obesity epidemic took off, whereas the relative cost of fresh fruits and vegetables doubled. This may help explain why during about the same period, the percentage of Americans getting even five servings of fruits and vegetables a day dropped from 42 percent to 26 percent. Why not just subsidize produce instead? Because that’s not where the money is.

To understand what is shaping our foodscape today, it is important to understand the significance of differential profit. Whole foods, or minimally processed foods, such as canned beans or tomato paste, are what’s referred to in the food business as “commodities.” They have such slim profit margins. Sometimes they’re even sold at or below cost as “loss leaders” to attract customers in hopes they’ll also buy the “value-added” products. Some of the most profitable for producers and vendors alike are the ultra-processed fatty/sugary/salty concoctions of artificially flavored, artificially colored, and artificially cheap ingredients thanks to taxpayer subsidies.

Different foods reap different returns. Measured in profit per square foot of supermarket selling space, confectionaries like candy bars consistently rank among the most lucrative. The markups are the only healthy thing about them. Fried snacks like potato and corn chips are also highly profitable. PepsiCo’s subsidiary Frito-Lay brags that while their products represented only about 1 percent of total supermarket sales, they may account for more than 10 percent of operating profits for supermarkets, and 40 percent of profit growth.

It’s no surprise, then, that the entire system is geared towards garbage. The rise in the calorie supply wasn’t just more food, but a different kind of food. There’s a dumb dichotomy about the drivers of the obesity epidemic: is it the sugar or is it the fat? They’re both highly subsidized, and they both took off. Along with a significant rise in refined grain products that’s difficult to quantify, the rise in obesity was accompanied by about a 20 percent increase in per capita pounds of added sugars, and a 38 percent increase in added fats.

More than half of all calories consumed by most adults in the United States were found to originate from these subsidized foods, and they appear to be worse off for it. Those eating the most had significantly higher levels of chronic disease risk factors, including elevated cholesterol, inflammation, and body weight.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

The rise in calorie surplus sufficient to explain the obesity epidemic was less a change in food quantity than in food quality, with an explosion in cheap, high-calorie, low-quality convenience foods. And the federal government very much played a role in making this happen. U.S. taxpayers give billions in subsidies to prop up the likes of the sugar industry; the corn industry and their high-fructose syrup; and soybean production, about half of which is processed into vegetable oil, and the other half used as cheap feed to help make dollar-menu meat. Why do taxpayers give nearly a quarter billion dollars a year to the sorghum industry? When was the last time you sat down to some sorghum? It’s almost all fed to livestock. We’ve created a pricing structure that favors the production of sugars, oil, and animal products.

The farm bill started out as an emergency measure during the Great Depression of the 1930s to protect small farmers, but was weaponized by Big Ag into a cash cow with pork barrel politics—including said producers of cows and pork. From 1970 to 1994, global beef prices dropped more than 60 percent. If it weren’t for taxpayers sweetening the pot with billions of dollars a year, high-fructose corn syrup would cost the soda industry about 12 percent more. (And then we hand them more billions through the “food stamp” program to give sugary drinks to the poor.)

Why is chicken so cheap? After one of the farm bills, corn and soy were subsidized below the cost of production for cheap animal fodder, effectively handing the poultry and pork industry about $10 billion each. That’s not chicken feed—or rather, it is!

This is changing what we eat. Thanks in part to subsidies, dairy, meats, sweets, eggs, oils, and soda were all getting relatively cheaper compared to the overall consumer food price index as the obesity epidemic took off, whereas the relative cost of fresh fruits and vegetables doubled. This may help explain why during about the same period, the percentage of Americans getting even five servings of fruits and vegetables a day dropped from 42 percent to 26 percent. Why not just subsidize produce instead? Because that’s not where the money is.

To understand what is shaping our foodscape today, it is important to understand the significance of differential profit. Whole foods, or minimally processed foods, such as canned beans or tomato paste, are what’s referred to in the food business as “commodities.” They have such slim profit margins. Sometimes they’re even sold at or below cost as “loss leaders” to attract customers in hopes they’ll also buy the “value-added” products. Some of the most profitable for producers and vendors alike are the ultra-processed fatty/sugary/salty concoctions of artificially flavored, artificially colored, and artificially cheap ingredients thanks to taxpayer subsidies.

Different foods reap different returns. Measured in profit per square foot of supermarket selling space, confectionaries like candy bars consistently rank among the most lucrative. The markups are the only healthy thing about them. Fried snacks like potato and corn chips are also highly profitable. PepsiCo’s subsidiary Frito-Lay brags that while their products represented only about 1 percent of total supermarket sales, they may account for more than 10 percent of operating profits for supermarkets, and 40 percent of profit growth.

It’s no surprise, then, that the entire system is geared towards garbage. The rise in the calorie supply wasn’t just more food, but a different kind of food. There’s a dumb dichotomy about the drivers of the obesity epidemic: is it the sugar or is it the fat? They’re both highly subsidized, and they both took off. Along with a significant rise in refined grain products that’s difficult to quantify, the rise in obesity was accompanied by about a 20 percent increase in per capita pounds of added sugars, and a 38 percent increase in added fats.

More than half of all calories consumed by most adults in the United States were found to originate from these subsidized foods, and they appear to be worse off for it. Those eating the most had significantly higher levels of chronic disease risk factors, including elevated cholesterol, inflammation, and body weight.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

If it really were a government of, by, and for the people, we’d be subsidizing healthy foods if anything, to make fruits and vegetables cheap, or even free, but instead, our tax dollars are shoveled to the likes of the sugar industry or to livestock feed to make cheap fast food meat.

It’s funny, though. I‘ve been working on the How Not to Diet cookbook this week (it will be out in December), and I’ve got a bunch of sorghum recipes! So here I am in the video asking “When’s the last time you sat down to a bowl of sorghum?” and soon I hope you’ll all be like, “last night!”

I had never had sorghum before, and it’s delicious! In fact, I wish I had discovered it before How Not to Diet was locked down. Now I add to my BROL bowl (the purple barley groats, rye groats, oat groats, and black lentils) sorghum and finger millet, so now the acronym is some unpronounceable BROLMS or something. Anyway, sorghum is a great rice substitute for those who saw my rice/arsenic video series, and were as convinced as I that we need to diversify our grains.

Anyway, now we turn to marketing. There was all this taxpayer-subsidized glut of calories in the market; now the food industry had to find a way to get it into people’s mouths. So next: The Role of Marketing in the Obesity Epidemic.

We’re about halfway through this series on the obesity epidemic. If you missed any so far, check out:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

69 responses to “The Role of Taxpayer Subsidies in the Obesity Epidemic

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  1. Good presentation and its interesting to follow the money trail into one of the biggest train wrecks in history, the obesity epidemic and health crisis.

    1. Dan C, Yes, the obesity epidemic seems a much larger threat to our health than the Corona virus, yet the whole US economy was destroyed by the people being stirred up into a panic mode. This does not make logical sense to me. What’s going on behind the scenes? (Rhetorical question, of course!)

      1. Darwin Galt,

        The big difference is, what you eat will not affect my health. But, if you are sick with an infectious disease, you CAN make me, and many others, sick. And this coronavirus rather swiftly ends or severely changes your life. It attacks the lungs, heart, kidney, GI tract, and the nervous system. For starters. And patients are suffering blood clots that can kill them, or lead to amputations.

        We don’t even know what the after effects of it will be. For example, chicken pox can recur as shingles, an excruciatingly painful and sometimes debilitating condition. Measles leads to decreased immunity for a few years after recovery, and greater susceptibility to other infectious diseases, some of which are deadly.

        But I agree with you that the obesity epidemic is a huge threat to the health of this country. And it may be resulting in more severe cases of the coronavirus: being overweight increases the risk of disease severity by a factor of 7 – 8 fold. And as has been pointed out on this site, other underlying “morbidities” which increase the risk of a more severe disease also result from diet: cardiovascular disease, T2 diabetes, kidney disease, etc.

        1. Dr J, That’s a good point about one person’s sickness directly affecting others (contagious diseases), which the obesity only does indirectly through our medical insurance costs going up for all of us, even for those of us who try to eat healthily.

          Your last paragraph makes some very good points, too. Thanks for commenting.

        2. Dr J,
          What other people eat won’t directly affect our health, but unhealthy eaters are definitely affecting our health perhaps in more significant ways than direct deadly disease transmission. Factory farming of chickens makes a pandemic worse than the coronavirus likely. The waste products of factory farming have killed rivers and streams, are killing our oceans, and the specific practices are considered a major factor in the steep decline in insect and bird populations. Factory farming is a huge contributor to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

          The healthcare system is different after the obesity epidemic. Now the emphasis is to keep habit based unhealthy people alive with drugs. The money measure of health care devoted to treating diet caused disease is just an indicator. The reality is that doctors by and large don’t actually look at a patient with hopes of improvement. It just isn’t worth the investment of attention in most cases. Instead our health system’s primary mode is to factory treat diet inflicted health issues then compete for lucrative hospital admissions of people at the end of the process. Rinse and repeat.

          The opportunity cost of having most of the population unhealthy from poor diet in the places with the most resources and best developed information capabilities is huge. Trash in, trash out. When is the last time you encountered the old stereotype of the jolly fat person? It’s gone. Unhealthy people don’t move as well, don’t think as well, and don’t interact as well. Consider that the next time you are among a bunch of people driving multi-ton vehicles at high speed.

      2. Darwin Galt,
        The obesity pandemic is no doubt killing millions but not enough to stop the world dead in its tracks—like the mutating viruses can. Covid 19 is a wake up call that we will survive. SARS kills 5 in 10. MIR kills 1 in 3. Ebola 5 in 10. The 1918 virus only took 2%, but that is still 50 million.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0pvR92XT30
        Dr. Greger: Pandemic

        1. Dan,

          Yes, and it is the farm belt that didn’t shut down.

          Mentally, watching Dr. Greger’s Flu Factories video, and knowing that zoo’s already found out that humans can give it to animals.

          We have farmers very likely giving it to their animals right about now, allowing it to mutate in the confined quarters and if we go back to this video with what the subsidies were used for, how many of thee things on the list were cheap feed for animals.

          Dr. Barnard was talking about Smithfield Farms shutting down its processing plant because 300 of the workers tested positive for COVID-19.

          On top of that, the pig farmers are considering killing the baby pigs because this COVID-19 outbreak has changed supply and demand so much that they have had such a decrease in demand and price that they are thinking about cutting their losses.

          https://www.businessinsider.com/pork-farmers-disaster-may-kill-pigs-to-cut-losses-2020-4

          At least 2 pig farms had shut down within the past year, before COVID-19.

          Either way, we have the farm belt working with animals while people have COVID-19 and we go back to where the pigs got the swine flu virus originally from people part of Dr. Greger’s Flu Factory video, we don’t know if this will mutate from that part of the country.

    1. Yes, and we voter-consumers are making some grassroots changes with our votes. A dozen years ago you almost never saw the now familiar, blue/green “Non-GMO” sticker on a label in the stores. Today they are ubiquitous. So we can make changes. But changing how taxpayer money is spent might be a bit harder, I would guess. We’d have to popularize a new trend until it became profitable enough for the food industry to make changes. How does one do that with WP fruits and vegetables? Well, the same way we popularized Frito-Lay products and Mars candy bars.
      (Good luck.)

      [Chronic disease is so twentieth century.]
      Yes. So are fossil fuels. But they too are slow to lapse into extinction – [I would guess] because of taxpayer subsidies.

      1. Dr Cobalt,

        I agree.

        Consumers are driving so much of this by our behaviors.

        When I go to the grocery stores now, nearly every aisle has organic food. Nearly every aisle has foods labeled low sodium and no added sugar. Many aisles have gluten-free choices. Many aisles have vegetarian/vegan.

        We haven’t conquered oil yet. But there are low saturated fat choices.

    2. Sadly many people live where an actual supermarket would be a bus ride away so they rely mostly on local corner markets that tend to be like a 7-11 in food quality. Currently a parent with kids would need to jump on a bus during a pandemic and shop in a store that bans more than 2 people per cart and openly discourages shopping with children. Some ‘choice’.

      1. Reality Bites,

        You are right. Many poor people do not have cars and do not have grocery stores nearby and do not have much money at all.

        You are also right about the stores often only allow 1 person per cart and they obviously couldn’t leave their young children out in the parking lot.

        Plus, parents of very young children have been arrested for leaving them home.

        A lot of the poorer people are single mothers who don’t have any family support systems in the first place.

        Often the fathers aren’t in the picture at all and don’t give child support. It is a cultural thing, but the young girls do use the term “Baby Daddy”

        Where I live, a few years ago, around me several of those particular young males killed themselves in dramatic ways. One jumped off a bridge onto the highway, for instance.

      2. If there was strong steady demand for it, we would be seeing broccoli etc sold in the corner stores of the poorer neighbourhoods. But there isn’t. Blue juice, chips, pizza, pop. It wasn’t fruit and veg that went flying off the shelves at the first hints of possible food supply interruption….it was sugar, KD, potato chips, cookies, meat. The dried beans and oatmeal people bought for ’emergency’ has probably by now been boxed and stored in the garage or donated to the food bank.

        As a kid, it didn’t matter how many commercials I had memorized. Advertising meant nothing to ‘mom’ who was the formidable naysayer for all things a kid could want. No junk food made the cut. (that included bacon and egg or pancake breakfasts).

        1. Barb,

          That may be, but I lived in one of those poorer areas when I was in Los Angeles and when all you can walk to was genuinely a 7-11, a Taco Bell and a McDonald’s that fostered the wrong kind of behaviors.

          Most of the kids eat 2 meals per day at school. That is still happening here (that is what my friend who is a teacher in a city said – she said that the school districts had delivered 54,000 meals to the kids at home. That was a few weeks ago.

          1. Plus, gangs always made it harder for people to get from one part of a city to another part.

            And even the rural food deserts and suburb food deserts just make it harder to go against the grain.

            Up until the past few years, it was nearly impossible to go organic near here. Now it is easy.

            1. It is also often not safe to walk, bike, take a bus from one part of a city to another. People often get trapped because of gangs and crime.

              When I lived in LA, there were gunshots every single night and sirens and helicopters overhead. When searching for an apartment, people chose 2nd floor to avoid accidentally getting shot through the walls.

              1. People had thieves crawling in their windows at night.

                I remember one woman who lived in a city near here who had thieves tunneling up into her bedroom closet. She didn’t have credit and couldn’t move out but they had removed the foundation and she had a cup of acid to throw at them on her end table.

                I think 7-11 and McDonald’s and Taco Bell selling so many things for $1 or less combined with genuine fear causing people to want comfort food is something that people who have personal safety and money don’t understand.

        2. And, Barb,

          I really do agree with you.

          If the demand was there places would have the healthy foods.

          I just don’t see it as the fault of the poor people.

    1. YR, Maybe he should switch to a different color scheme, while his green outfit is being cleaned. I would suggest orange and maybe brown. After all, sweet potatoes and grains are almost as healthy as greens :-)

    2. I suspect he has several green shirts. I may be way off but I think he is more like Steve Jobs who didn’t want to spend mental energy thinking about what to wear and bought a whole bunch of the same clothes to stop decision-making fatigue.

      He actually has some pretty snappy clothing lately.

      Seems to me like he might have bought some nice new suits and ties for his “How Not to Diet” tour.

      That being said I think his green shirt is more flattering with his treadmill and less flattering with this background.

      Plus, it is green and Steve Jobs and my grandmother both chose neutral colors that they could wear every week and nobody notices neutral colors.

      1. I have not commented before on Dr G’s clothing choices.
        The green is to align with the NF logo I imagine.

        But, I have to say that his choice of the taupe shirt with deep plum/burgundy tie for the Q & A sessions was perfect. Fantastic combo, and very flattering.

        1. Yes, I liked the Q&A outfit, too.

          He has had some really nice outfits for his television and interview process.

          Some really nice ties.

  2. “Poor diet is now the leading cause of poor health in the U.S., causing more than half a million deaths per year.36 The prevalence of obesity has risen sharply from 15% of adults and 5.5% of children in 1980 to 39.8% of adults and 18.5% of children in 2016. Nearly three in four (71.6%) American adults are either overweight or have obesity.37-40 More than 100 million Americans – nearly half of all U.S. adults suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes, while one in three U.S. children born after 2000 is expected to develop Type 2 diabetes.41,42 Cardiovascular disease afflicts about 122 million people and causes roughly 840,000 deaths each year, with rates of coronary heart disease and obesity-related cancers increasing among younger adults.43,44 And, for the first time in American history, life expectancies are falling, with declines for three consecutive years due in part to significant increases in midlife mortality from diet-related diseases.45,46”

    From Report of the 50th Anniversary of the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health” https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-0e13-d270-a773-6f5ff7ea0000

    1. Also from the report:

      “rising medical costs, dominated by diet-related chronic health conditions, are crushing government budgets and private business growth.

      These spiraling costs, which are driven by diet-related diseases and continue to rise, are crowding out other needed federal, state, and business investments, while also causing real wages to stagnate for many American workers.63

      Today, 71% of young people between the ages of 17 and 24 do not qualify for military service, with obesity being the leading medical disqualifier.64 Poor nutrition and diet-related diseases also strain the budgets of the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.”

      Etc. And much more. Details with references provided in the report.

      And now I can say with confidence that my son-in-law, a recent vet of the Navy submarine service, is in the upper 25% – 30% of Americans his age. (But I could already say that.) And yet, even he and my daughter, a hospital nurse who is not on the front lines but working in close proximity, but still without sufficient PPEs and other supplies, could improve their diet. Which they now appear to be doing!! Hallelujah! Their mother-in-law’s/mother’s continual “gentle encouragement” might be working!

      And sites like this are a huge help. So, thank you, Dr. Greger and all your volunteers, for your wonderful work. To me, nothing speaks louder than facts and evidence.

      1. Dr. J.,

        I have a young man who worked for us who tried to get into the military and they do a whole lot of pre-boot camp work nowadays. They worked with him for months before trying to qualify for boot camp. Then, he failed to qualify and they worked with him for a few more months. Then, he got in, but got down there and still couldn’t run a mile fast enough so he went to pre-boot camp. Then, he made it to boot camp, but he dropped out a few weeks before the end.

        It isn’t just obesity. Young people have very little exercise and have been taught very little self-discipline or other life skills.

        We will blame the young people, but it is clear that all skills are taught or not taught.

        Whatever skills aren’t taught, people don’t do.

    2. Dr J, That’s a very interesting recent White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health report (March 2020). I haven’t read the whole report, but skimming through, there are a couple of interesting highlights:

      The first one pertains to the topic of today’s NF video:

      “2. Utilize economic incentives. Taxes and subsidies are powerful levers for driving consumer behavior and demand toward healthier and more sustainable food and beverage choices. Strategies to increase the price of less healthy and sustainable foods and beverages, such as taxes in retail and restaurant settings, paired with subsidies to lower the price of healthy foods and beverages should be considered at all levels of government and in private settings.”

      The second one is another timely topic of today’s political environment:

      “Without the high-level political will and the coordinated, bipartisan congressional attention on food and nutrition issues that was present during the 1969 White House conference and Let’s Move!, many key opportunities for further progress have languished. “

  3. Changing how Congress spends our tax dollars start by voting for candidates who are more inclined to subsidize “healthy” agriculture; that is producers of fruits,veggies and grains for human consumption. It is going to take a log time to vote out the meat and sugar happy congresspeople, but we have to start somewhere and the sooner the better.

      1. “Name one.”

        Exactly. And if you can… prove they’re legit based on their actions because that’s important too! Gotta background check.

      2. Blair,

        I agree.

        I will say though that Dr. Barnard (and Dr. Greger on his own and as part of the Physicians’ Committee) already are changing things without trying to change the government first. So maybe it is supporting the people who are already really good at the work?

        https://apnews.com/Business%20Wire/01d48f10831f44ad93bcf85010f8f866

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=165&v=zWa9DD5teBs&feature=emb_logo

        Watching the documentary PlantPure Nation – the biggest frustrating part was watching them try to work from the government down. The minute they got outside of the government buildings and started a grass-roots movement the movie became exciting.

    1. Both sides and everywhere in between are all muddied up with Monsanto, animal agriculture, etc… It’s endemic in politics. What needs to be done first of all, is to raise the issue and bring it to light. Then we’ll be able to even KNOW who is in support of switching our subsidies where there they should be going. “Power concedes nothing without demand,” but there are walls to break through in order to even create this what should be an outrage and demand. For one thing, the science needs to stop being drowned out by big industry propaganda and people need to stop helping this drowning process because they like their ideas habits (they serve as pawns, quite literally). And people need to realize in the first place that this is going on with their tax dollars, a lot of people don’t even know what’s happening then so many that do would think nothing of it because they still think yogurt is a health food. Nutritional websites and blogs don’t help with their brushing over things with their “lean protein” recommendations and what not, trying not to step on any of the toes lingering about. It all needs to be exposed. This video is important.

      1. S,

        Yes, when there becomes a demand, and only then, will power concede about this issue.

        But even more, I listened to Dr. Greger talk about the fact that they can 3-D laser print chicken rather than harm animals and that would already accomplish so much. I love that Dr. Barnard and Dr. Greger are part of a movement that is showing companies HOW to do a switch.

        They are creative and passionate and so practical about it.

        Most of these types of movements probably have been less practical and more divisive.

        I LOVE that WFPB is helping hospitals know how to do studies without animals. And what to eat that replaces meat and how to grow safer meat and they are open to creative ideas and Tyson Foods and Smithfield will make plant burgers and may 3-D laser print meat and have that be their steps forward to stop the pandemic.

        What I see is that – once you remove the political power struggle, politicians from both sides LOVE concepts that get something done.

  4. Interesting: BROLMS (in the Doctor’s Notes above). That’s the first I’ve heard of this bowl of breakfast grains. It’s not in the original HNTD cookbook… barley isn’t even mentioned.

    I’ll have to try a bowl of BROLMS someday.

    1. dr cobalt,

      I tried BROL — once, except that I had plain barley groats – and I can’t remember it.

      I look forward to your review of the new and improved BROLMS bowl.

  5. As a libertarian, I have been complaining about government subsidies for decades. And, if this government were truly ‘Of the people, by the people, and for the people’, there would be no subsidies for anything. Let’s just see what people really want and if they are willing to pay the true cost for producing it.

    1. No thank you to libertarianism. If anything libertarians and libertarianism is a huge help to big commercial interests and their pursuit to make money by lying to the public, etc.

      We need government, we just need it to run sensibly. I wouldn’t have brought it up! Let’s not get all political, but since you said something… I had to say.

  6. The culture itself now favors the most destructive diet in history, both in quality and quantity. The health crisis stems mainly from the diet, which stems mainly from the culture, which is one of convenience and thrills rather than thoroughness and responsibility. So long as the culture rejects the formulae for healthy eating the eaters will suffer and die way more than nature intended. No matter who or what is found to be the culprit, the culture is found supporting it. The choice is pop-culture, or health, and it’s each individual who must observe, decide and act to improve themselves without help from peers, services, markets, or authorities, not even doctors are of any help. The US culture is a failure as far as health goes, and shows only signs of worsening, and spreading its effects everywhere.

    1. “No matter who or what is found to be the culprit, the culture is found supporting it.”

      Oh that is ridiculous! You don’t lie to people, actively indoctrinate them since birth for generations, get people addicted, and then say it’s on them for “supporting the culprit.” That is so not the order of things and in any case, it’s so neither here nor there that I don’t know where the hell it is, in regards to the issue that our tax dollars are being actively used to promote a diseased society.

      “The US culture is a failure as far as health goes”

      And many others as well.

      The point is that our money is being used to make us sick. And in regards to the “culture support” thing, I would add that a lot of people buy the things that are unhealthy for them because they can’t afford to buy healthier options as the unhealthy things are made to be so cheap. So the other point is that even if people become educated enough to make smarter choices, our money is actively being used to make it difficult for what should be the easiest thing in the world… eat healthy food. And it is difficult for a lot of people.

      1. S,

        I love that you are so passionate.

        I do agree that you can’t brainwash people for 18 years and then think they will even figure out how to change even if they wanted to.

        The failure rate for something as simple-sounding as losing weight has been 99.9% for so long.

        Collectively, people are spending almost 200 BILLIONS of dollars every single year trying to figure out how to succeed.

        That sure doesn’t sound like they aren’t trying.

        Without proper education about what to do and support with how to do it, people DO NOT succeed.

    1. This video is also very good. Rich Roll interviews the Drs Sherzai about Alzheimers. Exercise comes up in the conversation with mention of a study where the top quintile had 40% less risk of alzheimer’s. Building muscle mass in the legs proves beneficial.

  7. Would these problems happen if this country would have kept a limited government?

    “Government performs a negative, rather than positive, role in society; that is, it punishes men when they violate God’s standard of moral behavior (as summarized in the Ten Commandments[i]). This negative role helps limit its power and authority. It protects citizens as they pursue the acquisition of property and knowledge, and maintenance of health and life. It is not to provide property, education, health, or welfare. Acting in a positive way increases its power and in turn diminishes our liberties.”

    “The book of Samuel chapter 8 reveals why the Israelites instituted kings contrary to God’s wishes. When Samuel the Judge (Chief Magistrate) was old he appointed his sons as judges over Israel (v. 1). That they were corrupt, unjust, and did not follow God’s law was one reason the people asked Samuel for a king (v.3). They also wanted to be like all the other nations who had monarchies (v. 5, 20). In addition, they had grown tired of governing themselves and fighting their battles (v. 20), and so a lack of self-government contributed to the establishment of royal rulers.

    “Both Samuel and the Lord were displeased with the people’s request, God declaring that their action indicated they were rejecting Him as their ultimate leader (v. 6-7). God allowed them to set up kings (‘I gave you a king in My anger,’ Hos. 13:11), but He told Samuel to warn them of the grave consequences of a pagan top-down form of government:

    “‘This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you; he will take your sons …. He will take your daughters.… He will take the best of your fields…. He will take a tenth of your seed…. He will also take your … best young men … for his work…. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants.’ (1 Sam. 8:10-18)

    “Tyrannical governments will take from man what God wants man to have. The consequence of government taking what does not belong to it is enslavement of the people in the nation. If government controls all property it controls all life. It thus robs humans of expressing the image of God and living in the great liberty that God intended for man from the beginning. Statism turns a nation into a giant prison.

    “Statism is the belief that civil government or the state is the ultimate authority. Statism has many forms: socialism, communism, fascism, democratic socialism, etc….

    “God did not establish government by kings, but when they asked for it He sought to turn Israel from establishing royal government because He knew that kings would “take … take…take” and make citizens serve them. They would take property, children, and freedom, and eventually make the people slaves.” Limited Government, By Stephen McDowell. https://providencefoundation.com/limited-government/

    And here we have this government taking money from you and using it in what you disapprove.

  8. THANK YOU for addressing this issue and calling our government out! This world is run so pathetically and wrongly it is perverse–there’s no better word for it.

  9. No need to get philosophical about this issue, it’s pretty black and white. Our money is being used against our health making it easier to eat unhealthy and harder to eat healthy. So our subsidies are quite literally going towards making greedy people who don’t care about our healthy, extremely rich, while we pay the price both figuratively and literally. It’s a quick fix… again, no philosophy needed… just stop and start subsidizing the foods we know we should be eating.

      1. If our tax dollars were used to subsidize organic farming of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans/soy/legumes (and not to “produce meat”), it would create a much healthier, thriving public. We should switch subsidies. The government is supposed to help the people and work for the people, this would do so, they just have it backwards. That would be tax dollars going towards actually serving us.

        1. Asking for a bigger government expecting it to work for the people is the same mistake as the Israelites did asking for a king expecting it to work for the people. This is the reason why we are where we are.

          1. No wonder Samuel was p*ssed when they wanted a king instead of him and his fellow ‘prophets’ to rule over them, despite all his and their efforts to convince people that they alone knew what some imaginary god wanted them to do. It must have spoiled a perfectly good racket.

            1. What you say makes no sense:

              “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6 [KJV])

              If the people were to dislike Samuel, why did they lamented him when he died:

              “And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah.” (I Samuel 25:1 [KJV])

              Claiming to be a prophet was a risky business in Israel:

              “But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.”
              (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 [KJV])

              Declaring the prophets presented an imaginary god makes no sense when God gave sufficient evidence of his existence. One occasion was during the time of Elijah:

              “[Elijah talking to Ahab, king of Israel] Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty… So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God… And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (I Kings 18:19-24, 36-38 [KJV])

            2. Now is there any prophecy that has come to pass? There are many and I will mention one:

              “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
              And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
              And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:23-25 [KJV])

              That fourth beast was the Roman Empire, and, according to this prophecy and others, two men foretold about the antichrist, the last horn that “shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first.”

              “… He who now hinders must hinder until he be taken out of the way. What obstacle is there but the Roman State; The falling away of which, by being scattered into then kingdoms, shall introduce antrichrist…” (Tertullian, “On the Resurrection.” Chapts. 24, 25. Christian Apologist in North Africa (200 AD))

              “Only there is one that restrainedth now, until he be taken out of the way, that is when the Roman Empire is taken out of the way then he [Antichrist] shall come.” (John Chrysostom, Homily on 2 Thessalonians 2, Number 4. Bishop of Constantinople (390 AD).)

              When did it arise and did it arise from the Roman Empire?

              “Vigilius…ascended the papal chair (538 A.D.) under the military protection of Belisarius.” History of the Christian Church, by Philip Schaff, Vol. 3, p. 327

              “With the conquest of Rome by Belisarius… commences the history of the Middle Ages.” Greece under the Romans, by George Finlay, p. 295.

              “Out of the ruins of the Roman Empire there gradually arose a new order of states whose central point was the Papal See. Therefore, inevitably, resulted a position, not only new, but very different from the former.” The Church and Churches pp. 42, 43.

              “When the Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place had been taken by a number of rude, barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic church not only became independent of the state in religious affais but DOMINATED SECULAR AFFAIRS as well.” Historian C. C. Eckhardt. The Papacy and World Affairs, p. 1.

              “If a man consider the origin of this great ecclesiastical dominion, he will easily perceive that the Papacy is none other than the ghost of the deceased Roman empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof.” Historian Thoman Hobbes. Leviathann, p. 457.

              According to Daniel 7:25, the antichrist was “given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time”. What does that mean?

              Time = 1 year.
              Strong’s Concordance: עִדָּן ʻiddân, id-dawn’; (Aramaic) from a root corresponding to that of H5708; a set time; technically, a year:—time.

              “‘during a year, (two) years, and the half of a year;’ i. e. during a three years and a half”. Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon. https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/Lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=H5732&t=KJV

              1 year = 360 days (Jewish year).

              Prophecy, being symbolic, 1 day = 1 year according to Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6.

              Therefore

              Time + Times + Dividing of Time
              360 + 720 + 180 = 1,260 years

              The antichrist was to have power for 1,260 years, therefore ending in 1798:

              “In 1798 General Berthier made his entrance into Rome, abolished the papal government, and established a secular one.” -Encyclopedia Britannica 1941 edition

              “Berthier entered Rome on the tenth of February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic … Half Europe thought Napoleon’s veto would be obeyed, and that with the Pope the papacy was dead.” Joseph Rickaby, The Modern Papacy, in Lectures on the History of Religions, Vol. 3, Lecture 24, p. 1 (1910)

              For more in depth study of the prophecies, here is the link of the book Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith.
              https://openlibrary.org/books/OL25606738M/Daniel_and_the_Revelation

            3. The God of the Bible is imaginary only to those who refuse to see. What is actually imaginary is evolution:

              “Famed philosopher David Hume used Eastern religious beliefs like Hinduism to argue against the fad of deism—belief in a creator who is uninvolved with his creation. Deism also denied God’s judgment of global sin with a global flood, and it included replacing any scriptural implications for geological history with human guesses about which non-Flood processes may have caused the geology of the present world.1

              “Hindus believe in vast time cycles instead of the Bible’s record of a recent creation. Hume expressed his deep-time leanings nonconfrontationally through fictional characters in dialogue. In one of Hume’s books, a character named Philo said, ‘The world, say I, resembles an animal; therefore it is an animal, therefore it arose from generation.’3

              “Hume knew Erasmus Darwin, Charles Darwin’s grandfather. Erasmus wrote in his book Zoonomia:

              “‘Hume…places the powers of generation much above those of our boasted reason; and…he concludes the world itself might…have been gradually produced from very small beginnings, increasing by the activity of its inherent principles, rather than by a sudden evolution of the whole by the Almighty fiat.’4

              “There again, Erasmus simply cherry-picked a preferred story with no scientific basis. His grandson would cooperate in an even more subtle strategy to dress that story into a new history.”

              “Scottish lawyer Charles Lyell wrote a personal letter in which he suggested ways that even religionists could ‘join us in despising both the ancient and modern physico-theologians.’5 Like today’s creation-believing scientists, physico-theologians believed that Genesis events like the Flood left physical signs on Earth such as vast rock layers studded with fossils.6

              “How would Lyell and his co-conspirators achieve their goal of garnering Flood despisers? Not through outright confrontation but by charming kindness. Lyell wrote in a letter to George Scrope, ‘I conceived the idea five or six years ago that if ever the mosaic geology could be set down without giving offence, it would be in an historic sketch.’5 His plan came not from a desire to do good science but to ‘despise’ and ‘set down’ Genesis history. ‘The strategy worked; the church and the culture were blindsided.’7 Charles Darwin advanced Lyell’s goal when he wrote On the Origin of Species, an anti-creation ‘historic sketch’ that masqueraded as science. These men’s stories assumed deep time but never defended it.

              “In a letter to his son George, Darwin divulged his role in the plot to overthrow the Genesis Flood. He wrote:

              “‘Lyell is most firmly convinced that he has shaken the faith in the Deluge & etc. far more efficiently by never having said a word against the Bible, than if he had acted otherwise….P.S. I have lately read Morley’s Life of Voltaire & he insists strongly that direct attacks on Christianity…produce little permanent effect: real good seems only to follow from slow and silent side attacks.’8” The Plan to Replace God, By Brian Thomas, Ph.D. https://www.icr.org/article/the-plan-to-replace-god/

  10. “A farmworker recently told Food Safety News in an earlier interview, before the coronavirus pandemic, about what would happen if he alerted a manager to a possible food safety problem such as deer droppings in a field, a food-safety alert of the first degree. Such droppings can contain the potentially deadly E. coli pathogen and contaminate, for example, fresh berries or leafy greens.”
    – – – – – –

    https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2020/04/farmworkers-input-on-food-safety-now-turns-to-coronavirus-safety/

    1. LouAnn,

      How about trying these changes to make a bigger impact:

      1. Reduce or just don’t purchase “fake” food.
      2. Write your representatives and make your voice heard
      3. Join organizations that are on the same wavelength
      4. Grow a garden and/or consider shopping at farmers markets
      5. Let your local grocers know about your food choices
      6. Let others within your social circle know about how you feel and
      7. Share videos regarding the food issues. Netflix and other channels including Youtube afford excellent access.

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

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