Must Read: Big Food Uncovered in the NY Times

We all know the basics. We’re getting fatter and sicker as a nation and obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing. We’re barely eating real food  (about half the meals the typical American family eats are not prepared at home (1) and 74% of that packaged food or those take-out meals contains sugars (2)- both obvious and hidden. But somehow reading these stats may not resonate as much as seeing what’s behind them. In yesterday’s NY Times, thanks to an eye-opening piece entitled (3) Super Size: The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st Century Agriculture, we have the chance to peak inside the factory farms we read about, the turkey farms in which “workers spray antibacterial solution into the turkey pens to prevent disease…and right onto the turkeys”. Photos of “calves who are inseminated and then returned — seven months pregnant, and just under 2 years old — to the dairies they came from”. And feedlots which was the source of more than half McDonald’s french fries that resulted from a “realization by a billionaire owner, John Richard Simplot, that he could also use the waste products of his potato operation to fatten cattle”. Following this photographic journey is an essay written by Michael Pollan, “Why Did the Obamas Fail to Take On Corporate Agriculture?” (4) With incredible insight and depth into Big Food’s partnership with Michelle Obama in her war on obesity, while simultaneously engaging in a campaign against any new law or regulation that threatened its freedom to make and market junk food and commentary on how when the Obamas seriously poked at Big Food, they were quickly outlobbied and outgunned- the sad reality is that the food movement still barely exists as a political force. Where do we go? To our own backyards, farmer’s markets and CSA’s. The biggest impact any of us can have- and this applies to each and every one of us, is to stop buying their products. Dollar signs drive. Educate  yourself, share it with others and get involved in any way you can to create opportunities for your community to be resourceful in creating change. Staring community gardens. Sharing a glass fed cow from a reputable, local butcher. Hosting a cooking class to show how to prepare veggies to appeal to the kids rather than letting them rely on junk from the local gas station. Start a charity. Contribute to a charity. Pay it forward- if we all do our part at home, for our own families and communities, change must occur. (1) “The Slow Death of the Home-cooked Meal.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016. (2) @sugarscience. “Hidden in Plain Sight.” N.p., 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 06 Oct. 2016 (3) STEINMETZ, GEORGE. The Dizzying Grandeur of 21st-Century Agriculture. NY Times, 5 Oct. 2016. Web (4)