System Overhaul II

I know I've at least mentioned part of this earlier, but here's the version in full.

Food in America is a problem. People aren't just obese because they buy a ton of food, they're obese because buying fatty foods is way cheaper. Yeah, an individual apple is cheaper than a bag of chips, but you also end up hungry about ten minutes later (I can't get full on just a salad--I need my carbohydrates...mmmm, bread...). We live in a country where bottled water is more expensive than juice...what did we expect?! (This is not the case in Europe, where bottled water is far, far cheaper.)

But yeah. Here's a quick list of the problems with food products here that are not an issue in Europe:
1. Farmers' Market is more expensive than supermarket. WTF?! Why am I paying for the privilege of supporting local farmers when they're eliminating the middleman and really incurring no new expenses (I mean, don't they have to drive their shit to the supermarket...?). This is just...every time I think about it I want to smack the system upside the head. Seriously, guys. Seriously.

2. Everything has soy in it. Soy lecithin at the minimum, that is. Now, this wouldn't be too bad if a) soy didn't have estrogen in it and b) there weren't an increasing prevalence of soy allergies in the country. We need to stop rewarding farmers for growing cash crops. I don't care if Farmer Bill's family has spent six generations growing soy. I bet the seventh generation before was growing crops that, you know, didn't completely rape the land.

3. High fructose corn syrup. It's good for you. It's bad for you. We just make shit up because we're either sugar lobbyists or corn lobbyists. No one knows exactly what's going on with this, but it shouldn't matter because, like massive soy farms, it's just another way to completely fuck up the land. Did you know that there's only so many fertilizers you can slather on before you run out anyway?

4. Stuff doesn't taste good here. I can't eat gelato anymore in this country. :(

5. Freshness: does anyone know what it is? What Americans call 'fresh ingredients' is simply a disgrace. Food really does taste differently when it's been prepared with fresh stuff (and no, organic doesn't matter, but local does, unless you can get it to where you need it really, really fast. What kind of jackass decided that 'organic' would be synonymous with 'fresh'? Also, if you've played The Sims 3 you know exactly what I'm talking about).

So, what do we do?

1. Stop rewarding farmers for growing cash crops. Not only is it bad for the land, it also promotes the shittiness of food in America and the expensiveness of products that our miles and miles of arable land should be making super-cheap. I think that if healthy foods in this country tasted the way they did in Europe, we wouldn't have as bad of a crisis because people wouldn't be depending on fats and sugars to make their food taste good. Also, this would promote small farmers way more, as it's harder to factory farm acres of varied crops.

2. More restrictions on what can be defined as certain kinds of 'food.' I hear that a burger only has to be 51% meat to be a 'real beef burger,' and that there is not a single American-made chocolate that would qualify as chocolate outside of this country. So, what the hell is causing all this? Instead of making products as true to their labels as possible, companies are using 'filler' products like known carcinogen BHT (okay, but let's face it: what isn't carcinogenic? Honestly this has gotten a little ridiculous). Things don't taste as good--and yes, it does make them a little cheaper, but I think the benefits are slightly outweighed by chemotherapy, cholesterol meds, and in general the powerful desire to go to another country just to eat some goddamn food.

So, yeah. The American food system is fucked up, but on the surface at least it seems fixable. The trick is getting lobbyists on this end that are as powerful as the corn/soy/factory farm end.

P.S. Tried local bakery bread today. SO. EXPENSIVE.

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