Psychology for Dinner - Clarification

Dear Family,

After I sent my last update, some alert readers pointed out that maybe I might have made some of my readership feel bad by proclaiming, “When we fail to speak out against the act of eating ‘food’ that is addictive and nutrient poor, we fail our children, and our future children’s children - if they are someday able to conceive them.”

Since it was absolutely the opposite of my intention to make any individual feel blamed for the current public health crisis in our country, I want to briefly clarify my opinion:

I don’t think that individuals should bear all the blame nor the burden for their food choices. We didn’t evolve to question everything we put in our mouths, and it’s unsustainable to expect every person to do so. We are all doing the best we can, and the reality in this country is that many (if not most) people don’t have time and/or money to grow/buy/prepare healthy meals, so hundreds of millions of people daily depend on corporately-managed food systems for their sustenance.

It is slightly fascinating and wholly criminal that shitty food costs so much less than good food, even while farmers receive pennies (actually just over a few nickels) on each dollar spent on food in this country.

Over the past several decades, this Unhealthy = Cheap food equation has proven itself a public health crisis. Every chronic illness, from diabetes, acne, and infertility to depression, obesity, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s, to sociopathic behavior, is on the rise. We spend less on food and more on healthcare than any other industrialized nation, and while increasing numbers of Americans live in poverty, more of them receive assistance in the form of Shit Corporate Food Handouts than ever, contributing to a situation that is the definition of a Vicious Cycle.

When I say “we” need to speak out against fake food consumption, I am not referring to parents policing each others’ food choices on the playground! I mean instead that our elected officials should be accountable for the enormous amount of public policy that currently results in the embarrassingly poor health outcomes of U.S. citizens, especially children.

Therefore, in consideration of the tragic topic of recent school shootings: in addition to discussing the best treatments for those with severe mental illness, and how to keep guns out of the hands of unhealthy/dangerous criminals, our policymakers need to start paying serious attention to What We Eat. I do not mean that Government should restrict or prescribe individuals’ choices, but our policy-makers should try to begin to understand that our grocery stores are jam-packed with shittier “food” than past generations of homo sapiens ever encountered, ever - and that this is something completely relevant to our nation’s bottom line.

If our politicians learned some very basic facts about human physiology and nutrition, there is potential for much to change: everything from farm bills that subsidize nutrient-poor commodities (which are then turned into “cheap” food with expensive health consequences), to labor policies that encourage exploitation of farmers and farm laborers, to health insurance “reform” that allows Big Business to extract enormous profits from our collective ill-health, to prison systems that punish people with virtually no acknowledgement nor treatment of the physiology that drives criminal behavior, to corporate/political incest that results in societal blindness toward the human health effects of shit corporate food.

Ahem.

As you can see, I could go on! But I won’t. (Lemme know if this clarification was helpful…)

Love,
Sarabeth