The #1 most emailed article on the New York Times’ website today is a new op-ed piece by everyone’s favorite food reform champion Michael Pollan! In this piece, Mr. Pollan insightfully points out the intimate connection between the food industry and the health insurance industry. In the aftermath of President Obama’s significant speech on health care reform last night, it’s important to realize that our current, dysfunctional health care system benefits greatly from our current, dysfunctional food system. According to Michael Pollan, “The American way of eating has become the elephant in the room in the debate over health care.” (We love this quote!)
From the article:
There’s lots of money to be made selling fast food and then treating the diseases that fast food causes. One of the leading products of the American food industry has become patients for the American health care industry.
So poignant! Have you ever wondered why in the world it is that hospitals, whose sole reason for being is to keep people healthy, consistently serve highly-processed, un-fresh, terrible-tasting food to their patients? We have…
And so the government is poised to go on encouraging America’s fast-food diet with its farm policies even as it takes on added responsibilities for covering the medical costs of that diet. To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.
Luckily, signs from the Obama administration suggest that food reform is, in fact, on the future agenda (i.e. Michele Obama’s White House garden, President Obama’s remarks about a possible soda tax.) And we certainly hope so, because if the food industry giants of today have their way, they’ll be stamping processed, sugar-filled children’s breakfast cereals like Cocoa Krispies and Froot Loops with tragically misleading labels like “Smart Choices”! …Oh wait, they already are.