Last updated on August 30, 2020
The reason you are fat
Politicians are flawed humans just like you and me.
I suspect most of them started their career in politics with good intentions, but over time — since we don’t have term limits — they gave up and chose power and money over doing the right thing.
In fact, our well-intentioned Congressmen have caused or exacerbated every crisis in the history of America:
- The Great Depression
- The Vietnam War
- Hyperinflation of the 1970’s
- The Savings and Loan Crisis
- The Iraq War
- 2008’s Subprime Mortgage Crisis
- Student Loan Crisis
Are you fat?
Add that to the list.
Related Reading: The Dirty History of Student Loans
The Sugar Industry Cover Up
The first example of how government caused your obesity is known as the “sugar industry cover up.”
In my opinion, the government should defend our land and protect us from violent criminals — I can’t think of why we need them to tell us what to eat.
But that’s the thing with politicians, they love to govern!
In 1968, the government was alerted to the rise of heart attacks in America. They formed a committee and hired a scientist named Ancel Keys to tell them what causes heart attacks.
Keys said that fat caused heart attacks.
The committee did not verify Keys’ claim and did not seek a second opinion. Instead, they quickly launched an anti-fat campaign.
The sugar industry, who we now know was behind the “science” partnered with Big Food to create low-fat, processed products that they would stuff with sugar and sell to the American public as a healthy alternative to fat.
Yikes. Professionals around the country were horrified.
Dozens of scientists went to Washington to present evidence to government officials showing that animal fats, saturated fats and even cholesterol do not cause heart attacks. They said there is a strong correlation between refined carbohydrates and inflammation. Inflammation is what contributed to the rise in heart attacks, not fat, which humans have been eating since the beginning of time.
The politicians ignored them and this marks the beginning of the end for the American diet.
Related Reading: Are Cultural Paradigms Controlling You?
The Food Pyramid Scam
By 1992 the government decided to strike again.
The anti-fat campaign was so successful that they formed another committee to create the Food Pyramid:
The Food Pyramid says Americans should eat daily:
- 6-11 servings of bread or pasta
- 2-3 servings of dairy
- 2-3 servings of protein
- 3-5 servings of vegetables
- 2-4 servings of fruit
Were these people serious?
Remember how scientists in the 1960’s told government officials that refined carbohydrates directly correlated with inflammation in the body, and that inflammation directly leads to heart disease?
And besides, who can actually eat 6-11 servings of carbohydrates a day? This is beyond irresponsible, it is criminal.
And that’s not all.
Originally, the Food Pyramid recommended fewer servings of meat and dairy until lobbyists from the meat and dairy industries freaked out. Our sales will go down! We will lose money! You can’t do this!
As previously mentioned, politicians are not invincible. They can be weak and spineless people who simply want to collect bribes from special interest groups willing to pay them.
So instead of standing up to corporate interests, the Food Pyramid committee members revised their recommendations to suggest we eat more meat and dairy, and less fruits and vegetables. This is an excerpt from the National Center of Biotechnology Information’s website:
Under pressure from meat producers, the dietary advice went from a decreased consumption of meat to 2-3 servings daily. This highlights the inherent conflict of interest in the Department of Agriculture’s dual mandate to promote U.S. agricultural products and to advise the public about healthy food choices.
Senator McGovern, who oversaw the committee, was quoted at the time saying he “did not want to disrupt the economic situation of the meat industry.“
Related Reading: What is Anarcho Capitalism?
The Missed Opportunity
The government missed a great opportunity to educate the public on nutrition.
- What is nutrition?
- Is there a connection between what we eat and our moods?
- Are all vegetables created equal?
- All fruits?
- What are the nutrients a human body requires?
- What are the minerals needed?
- In which foods can which nutrients and minerals be found?
- Where do herbs fit in?
I used to think I was healthy as long as I ate fruits and vegetables. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that learned about nutrients, and that my body was lacking certain ones it needed.
There are rare times when the government can actually help the people instead of hurt them. The Food Pyramid was one such time but unfortunately our elected officials chose money and power over doing the right thing.
Related Reading: Retirement Accounts are a Joke
What do you know about NAFTA?
The North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, became law in 1994 with the goal of stimulating trade between Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Under NAFTA, a farmer in Mexico can sell his avocados in California the same way a farmer in California can sell his avocados in New York. No more tariffs, no more hoops to jump through, just friendly and free trade between the three countries.
Per usual, what sounds good in theory doesn’t always turn out well in practice.
NAFTA benefited large, corporate farms and hurt small, family farms.
For example, a small farmer in Florida who wants to sell his oranges to stores in Nebraska can’t compete with large Mexican and Canadian corporate farms. Corporate farms can scale faster and sell a cheaper product, which eventually cuts the small farmer out of business.
A leading director of trade told NPR: NAFTA is geared around the idea that farmers should get big or get out. This undermines farmers who want to produce on a smaller, sustainable scale.
The consequences of NAFTA, as we’ll see next, is yet another reason you are free to blame the government for being fat.
Related Reading: Why is Weed Still Illegal?
The Negative Consequences of Corporate Farming
According to USDA.gov, over 90% of American farms are small, but they only account for 24% of the total output. Notice that over 50% of produce sold in America comes from large and non-family (corporate) farms:
The government had good intentions when it signed NAFTA into law in 1994. But their execution sucks.
Taxpayers pay billions of dollars every year subsidizing small and mid-size farms because NAFTA made it impossible for them to compete.
I wonder what else that money could be used for……education? Healthcare?
If that’s not depressing enough, because of policy loopholes, most of the money meant to subsidize small farmers ends up in the hands of corporate farms!
NAFTA itself didn’t cause our obesity epidemic in America, but it encouraged industrialized farming and that didn’t turn out well for the waistline.
Related Reading: Why Occupy Wall Street Failed
The Decline in Nutrient Density
NAFTA paved the way for Big Agriculture.
Big Agriculture introduced America’s farmers to fancy farming machines.
Fancy farming machines led to mono-cropping, overproduction and over-harvesting, which led to lower levels of vitamins and minerals in the produce grown.
In this 2004 University of Texas study, scientists reported a decline in proteins, vitamins and minerals in over 43 of the fruits and vegetables tested. Efficient farming methods, while great for the bottom line, strip nutrients from the soil and the soil is where the plants derive their nutrients.
Have you ever noticed that a tomato from the store doesn’t taste as good as the tomato from your backyard?
Sadly, the tomato from the store doesn’t have as many nutrients, either.
Innovative and efficient farming techniques led to your obesity because the human body requires certain nutrients (unique by person) and when it doesn’t get them, it holds onto excess fat for survival.
This is why I’ll never understand people who support expanding the role of government.
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A Side of Toxic Chemicals with that Salad?
Pesticides have been used for thousands of years and are necessary. The New York Times ran an article describing how ancient civilizations used pesticides:
To combat insects, ancient agriculturalists relied almost entirely on the use of natural products, such as extracts of lupine flowers or wild cucumber.
It is common for organic and small farms today to use similar, natural pesticides.
But Big Agriculture, to save on costs and be more efficient, prefer using chemicals. They then turn around and sell those chemicals to you to eat.
Ingesting toxic chemicals found on fruits and vegetables is bad enough, but did you realize it could lead to obesity?
The human body is a microbiome which consists of trillions of good and bad bacteria. The health of the human depends on the balance of his or her microbiome. Research suggests that when our stomach absorbs chemicals, such as the ones found on produce, the microbiome is disrupted.
And according to the National Library of Medicine, there is evidence that an unbalanced microbiome leads to obesity when other factors (calories in vs calories out) show no other causation.
Our government gives billions of dollars a year to Big Agriculture.
Couldn’t they at least regulate the chemicals they use on our food?
I don’t understand why government needs to insert itself into all aspects of our life.
Clearly they do more harm than good.
Something as simple as getting a second opinion on what causes heart attacks could have prevented the anti-fat campaign which resulted in Americans opting for processed foods over whole ones.
And what were they thinking with the Food Pyramid? A 60-year old woman has vastly different nutritional needs than a 16 year old boy.
If anyone believes that government intervention is a good thing, I hope this article is a reminder that the government sucks, pretty much all the time.
Our politicians may have good intentions, but at the end of the day, they are flawed humans just like us and regularly, too regularly, make mistakes.
Less Government = Better America.