Saturday, December 18, 2010

Subsidizing & why I think it's awful.

Right now it's evident to me that the 3 most subsidized, hence processed, foods in the US today are soy, wheat, and corn.

For soy, it's quite obviously in the form of soy protein, soy lecithin, and soybean oil. God, I can't stand the prevalence of soybean oil in the food supply. It's what most bagged, fried snacks are fried with, it's the basis of margarine aka "fake butter," and it's often used as a replacement for natural fats because it's cheap. Try to find a bottled salad dressing without soybean oil. Now, a margarine. Now, a mayonnaise. It's in, the damn, peanut butter. The peanut butter?! The peanut butter.

For wheat, the prevalence is a bit more obvious if you thought about it long enough. Go to any chain grocery store. Look at how big the dairy aisle is, the meat, the produce. Now look at the bread aisle. The bakery that isn't the bread aisle (you KNOW there's both.) The cookies, the crackers, the cakes, the cereal, and breakfast bars. Agh, good lord, it's everywhere! Try to compare the sheer SIZE of food groups or types in a grocery store, and wheat has a much larger chunk of any store than it should. While my favorite low-carb snacks, including almonds and jerky? Tiny. No, it's chips, chips, chips in the snack aisle, with their soybean oil... And honestly how many different types of crackers can a store possibly have?!?!!??@Q#%?W$Q&WT

Ahem, sorry.

Finally, one of the most popular and demonized of the three, is the corn. Ohhh the lovely corn, and the high fructose corn syrup. It's now the nation's most prevalent sweetener. Anything with sugar, even without sugar, has HFCS. Soda? Um, duh. Cookies? Forget about it. Ice cream? Of course. That 'healthy' flavored yogurt? Yup. Spaghetti sauce? Sure! Ketchup? Yessir. 90% of bagged bread? Why the hell not.

Jarred dill pickles.
Jarred. Dill. Pickles.
Oh yeah, it's in there. As well as other products I just haven't found yet. It's in almost everything! Why is it in everything? Subsidies. You make a food prevalent and cheap enough, it won't just be everywhere around you when you shop, it'll be processed. What bugs me the most about subsidized processed food like this, is that it's not even being used to it's full potential. You take acres of corn, wheat, or soy crops, and process it into a tiny amount of sugar, flour, or soybean oil. You concentrate all this actually useful food, and not eat it whole on it's own, but extract sugar from corn, or processed low-fiber flour from wheat, or fat from soybeans. Fat from soybeans? Does this make sense? The grain is so cheap now, they're feeding it to livestock. You have corn in the beef!

It's like how some people have an issue with fruit or vegetable juicing, taking a whole large apple, putting it into a machine, and extracting the sugar and some vitamins, and tossing away the fiber and pulp and flesh and skin of the fruit. To me, subsidized processed food has the same problem.

This whole subject came up today in a conversation I had, where I was asked, if I wanted to change the nutrition and diet world on it's head, how would I go about it? And if anything, this cheapened, processed, overly prevalent crap should definitely go first.

As far as subsidizing the right food, I honestly don't know. I mean I'm all for making good food cheaper, but what might happen? Will we end up with partially hydrogenated spinach oil, or high fructose apple syrup? Soy, and corn, and maybe even wheat alone are not evil after all, but they are after being put through chemical extraction processes. Maybe if subsidies were used more responsibly than they are now, could they be used for better purposes. Subsidize the grass so the livestock can eat it's natural diet, and grass-fed dairy and beef won't be an expensive underground product for people in big cities or people with internet shopping privileges, would be first priority for me. Put more subsidies into fisherman of wild fish, into other natural foods like nuts, so even the families of 6 with foreclosed houses, can't look at a tub of nuts or a salmon filet and say they're too expensive of foods, and go for soybean oil fried poofed corn balls, or the dinner of cheap white pasta or bread, and subsidized wheat cupcakes with HFCS instead, which, in the end, will only leave them hungry.

Even if we were to try and put this plan of responsible subsidies (Or "responsidies" =D) into action, how would one go about it? Would we go around like PETA, giving out flyers, educating people, making a website, gaining followers, and going to congress? Would we make an online club of people, with blogs and interviews? It's not something I've given thought of as how to execute a plan of, "responsidies."

It's certainly something to think about. Now it's 1am, I believe it's time for sleep.


  1. Nice to meet you!
    And yes, those grains are something else.
    Very profound!

  2. The solution to bad subsidies is to remove all subsidies. A laissez-faire free market will ultimately make the best choice in a timely manner.