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9 September 2011- We Alone are Responsible

While America’s farmers and ranchers, on a daily basis, quietly produce safe, nutritious, wholesome, inexpensive food for all of us and millions of other people around the world, I continue to be amazed and frustrated at the criticisms leveled against America’s agricultural producers. The one I focus on this week just reinforces my concern over the trend in this country for individuals to never accept responsibility for what they do.

The latest comes from an article in the Chicago Tribune a few days ago blaming farm subsidies for obesity in this country! Let me share just a couple of paragraphs of an article written by Marni Jameson...

“When the federal government subsidizes a crop, farmers are enticed to grow more of it, which drives supply up and prices down. Food manufacturers buy more of the cheap crops and more of them stream into the food supply. If the food happens to be unhealthy, that’s a problem.”

The article goes on... “Corn & wheat are the most heavily subsidized. They are also staples in a variety of common, fattening, nutrition-deficient foods. Corn is the main ingredient in high-fructose corn syrup, a cheap sweetener laced into packaged foods and sodas.

Wheat gets refined into flour, a chief component of breads, bagels, cereals, cakes, muffins and cookies. . .foods that nutritionists refer to as simple or ‘bad’ carbohydrates. Both corn and wheat are heavily used to feed livestock, a leading source of saturated fats.”

So, the tone of the entire article is “. . .without farm subsidies we would not have an obesity problem in the United States”. At least she did quote Julian Alston, Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of California in Davis who said “I get annoyed because everyone points to farm subsidies as one of the top two reasons for the obesity epidemic, but it’s irrelevant.”

Well, I get more than annoyed, because as individuals, we decide what we eat, yet we refuse to take responsibility for the consequences so we blame somebody or something else. Blaming farm subsidies for obesity in the United States, in my opinion, is ridiculous.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.