The Powerful Food Corporations

I get emails from Thrillist, which is a BuzzFeed-esque website.  Their headlines vary from such things as Best Bar Food in San Francisco, and 29 Reasons I Skipped Your Dating Profile, to The Rituals of Orthodox Jewish Sexuality.  Amongst the frivolous topics, they also have health topics.  And some of them are quite informative.

I came across one recently entitled, Why It’s Virtually Impossible for Most of America to Eat Healthy:

The gist is that there are large, powerful food corporations that are doing everything they can to keep themselves rich, and don’t give a damn about your health.  It’s a summary of an article recently written by Michael Pollan in the New York Times.

For those who aren’t familiar, Michael Pollan is a well-known food writer.  Someone got me a copy of his book, Food Rules.  The one I have is the updated illustrated version, which is fun.  He has simple, yet valuable rules.  Things like, “Don’t eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food.”  He’s not Paleo by any means, but he is basically advising people to eat real food, which is something that anyone living a Paleo lifestyle would agree with.

Michael Pollan’s article can be found here:

While longer than the Thrillist summary article, Michael Pollan’s article is well worth reading.  He goes into detail about the food corporations, lumped into what he calls Big Food, and why they are so powerful.  And why despite both Barack and Michelle Obama’s attempts to stand up to Big Food, they were unsuccessful.

It’s frightening and infuriating that these large corporations have such a stronghold on the food industry.  So much so that the Obamas could barely make a dent.  And as a result, the average American goes on eating their processed food and meat full of antibiotics.  And our children keep eating tons of sugar.  It’s unfair that my son was born to parents who are educated about what they eat.  And have the means to afford organic fruits and vegetables, and pasture-raised meat.  Most children in America (and the world) aren’t afforded that luxury.  And so continues the cycle of obesity and diabetes.

The silver lining, according to Michael Pollan’s article, is the Little Food movement as he calls it.  Consumers like me, and presumably those of you reading this blog, are becoming more aware of what we are eating.  And as a result, we will begin to push the food companies to start making changes: clearer labeling, and moving towards healthier products.  It will be a slow process, and the power of Big Food is not going away anytime soon.  But it’s nice to know that we can perhaps make a difference.  Even if it’s just convincing friends and family to think more about what they are putting in their bodies, and in my case educating my patients.  And of course, based on how we choose to spend our money.