THE FARM SUBSIDY
What Is the Farm Subsidy Controversy?
The last twenty years have witnessed a stunning rise in food
activism, where authors like Michael Pollan, activists like Alice
Waters, politicians like former mayor of New York Michael
Bloomberg, and over twenty food documentaries at Amazon
Instant Video are trying to convince average people that they
eat unhealthy food. Agricultural economist Jayson Lusk play-
fully refers to these individuals as the “food police.” His topic
titled Food Police is dedicated to “those who wish to eat without
a backseat driver.”
Of course, the activists do not want to seem like backseat
drivers. They argue that big business and big government
are the real backseat drivers pushing upon the public an
What are these “unhealthy” foods abhorred by the food
police (we also use the term with humor)? Corn is the big one.
Corn itself isn't considered unhealthy. It is simultaneously
a fruit, a grain, and a vegetable—hardly unhealthy foods.
However, most corn is eaten not by humans but by livestock.
Corn seems to be in virtually every food product, whether it
be corn sugar in soda, maltodextrin in granola bars, or citric
acid in canned fruit. Trying to find a processed food without
corn is difficult. Because most health experts suggest eating