Everything is food, food, food ….

Another day, another book to read. In Foodopoly, Wenonah Hauter purportedly:

… pulls the curtain back from the little-understood but vital realm of agricultural policy, showing how it has been hijacked by lobbyists, driving out independent farmers and food processors in favor of the likes of Cargill, Tyson, Kraft and ConAgra.

Hauter was interviewed in, Breaking up the Foodopoly, and talked about why Whole Foods is also Whole Paycheck:

… there’s a lot of misunderstanding about why organic food is more expensive. Of course, organics cost more because there’s more labor and more sustainable practices involved. But when you look at the reason that organic foods are more expensive in places like Whole Foods, it also has to do with consolidation. It turns out that there is only one major distributor for organic food in the country, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), and Whole Foods is their biggest customer. …

These large conventional companies are also trying to weaken the organic standards …

More generally, the root of our health care crisis can be traced to what we eat, or are induced to eat.

… these companies have used food science to figure out how to addict people to processed foods. The typical American household spends 90% of its budget on processed foods at grocery stores, fast food restaurants, and other restaurants. These companies have employed scientists to figure out how to use fat, sugar, and salt so that people reach a bliss point: their brain actually produces dopamine, which creates a reward system for eating these processed foods.

It’s interesting to think about who’s really responsible for people being overweight and unhealthy. These companies, through their advertising and political power, are able to dictate everything from nutrition-related rules to pesticide regulations to labeling requirements. You can’t really shop your way out of this problem. We need everybody to be involved in the political system.

We try to avoid processed foods, but items like dark chocolate-covered raisins always seem to fall into our carts.


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