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Food Fights Exploit Class, Income Splits

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As epic battles brew between sustainable, organic and non-renewable industrial farming, the politics of food surround our every bite. That's a good thing, driving better assessments of actual food costs while factoring in enormous, perpetual farm subsidies and government supports. What we eat, and deem worthy for others to digest, has as much to do with class, income, family, and status as with packaging, nutrition and health.  


Hardly going down as a high point is the latest skirmish from Mayor Bloomberg of New York, defying logic and common sense by asserting smaller soda containers will automatically reduce consumption of sugary drinks. Talk about vulnerable liberal tunnel vision and over-reach, this notion skims the surface of obesity, empty calories, and unhealthy eating habits. Chew on this indigestible morsel, Mr. Mayor:


The average American eats 29 pounds of French fries, 23 pounds of pizza, 24 pounds of ice cream and consumes 53 gallons of soda, 24 pounds of artificial sweeteners, 2.736 pounds of salt and 90,700 milligrams of caffeine per year. Do we really think we can create health in that toxic environment?


And Dr. Mark Hyman bypasses other average annual intakes: 632 lbs of diary, 85 lbs. of oil, and 63 lbs. of beef alone. If food fights obscure air, soil, water, media and mind contamination, this liberal "toxic environment" will draw out the wingnuts, yapping loudly: "keep government out of my gullet" or "give me calories or give me death."


Forever seeking wedges


Food fights loom because gay rights and abortion, even "gun control" folly, have lost some electoral clout. Gun sales lag only the ultimate rightwing juggernaut: lying by design. Likewise idiotic defiance of climate warming, tempered by fierce storms and sizzling temperatures. Momentarily, even varieties of born-again fundies most resistant to logic have receded, perhaps split over Romney's cultish Mormonism. Few voters wonder where Obama left the womb, to which sovereign state our Lord of Drones pays homage, or how he displays his good Christian faith: drone strikes that take out Muslim wedding parties obliterate that canard.  


No, expect the benighted to rally against liberal do-gooding, as the diabetic Tea Partiers bellow, "Save our Freedom Fries." Joining the fray comes corporate food money, already grumbling over Disney's recent park junk food ban. And towns like Richmond, CA. with more poor people than decent supermarkets, will be targeted for simply considering taxation of sugary drinks -- and with such nefarious ends: reinstate phys ed, nutrition classes and local vegetable gardens.


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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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