Agriculture Reference
In-Depth Information
less meat and processed foods, and corn is often an input into
less healthy foods, it is thus a target for the food police.
The documentary Food, Inc. takes the viewer to a grocery
store where an endless variety of products are on display,
and then remarks that this variety is an illusion—that every-
thing is traced back to corn. The viewer is then taken inside a
combine as corn is harvested, hearing the farmer explain that
he produces corn rather than any other crop mostly because
of farm subsidies (and the corporations that lobby to receive
those farm subsidies).
In the United States today, 30  percent of the land base
is being planted to corn. That is largely driven by gov-
ernment policy that, in effect, allows us to produce corn
below the cost of production. The truth of the matter is
we're paid to overproduce. And it was caused by these
large multinational interests. The reason our govern-
ment's promoting corn is the Cargills, the ADMs, Tyson,
Smithfield—they have an interest in purchasing corn
below cost of production. They use that...extensive
amount of money they have to lobby Congress to give us
the kind of farm bills we now have.
—Troy Roush, vice president of the American
Corn Growers Association, interviewed in
documentary Food, Inc. “Purchasing corn below the
cost of production” requires that government
subsidies to growers make it possible to sell
corn at a lower price than it costs to produce
US food activists tout beans as one of the most delicious and
nutritious foods, but not soybeans, because, like corn, most of
the nation's soybean crop is fed to livestock and used in pro-
cessed foods. Even those who realize that meat consumption
in moderation does not endanger health admit that Americans
should consume more vegetables. Moreover, if high consump-
tion of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed food is really due to
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