Yes, that’s right….63% of the money goes to the meat industry and less than 1% to the fruit and vegetable industry. According to this chart, our own government is discouraging us from eating fruits and vegetables. Do we even need to wonder why 68% of Americans are overweight or obese? Or why over 60% of U.S. deaths are caused by heart disease, cancer, and other diet-related diseases?? (And for the naysayers..yes, I know, meat is not solely responsible for these numbers and that some vegetarians are fat too. But it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if produce, whole grains and legumes were promoted and as cheap and readily available as much as meat is, a lot of people would probably be thinner and more importantly, healthier).
Oh and by the way, the Society of Actuaries states that obesity related healthcare costs in this country are around $127 billion per year. Add in another $100 billion in lost worker productivity and disability costs and the total cost of obese Americans totals nearly $300 billion per year.
The ironic part of all of this is that the USDA food pyramid we all know so well never quite matched up to the distributions of government subsidies. Look at this chart from PCRM:
The food pyramid was used from 1992-2011, when it was replaced with the new and improved “MyPlate” that looks like this:
These guidelines, while a vast improvement nutrition-wise over the original food pyramid, are still just as ridiculous as the pyramid. MyPlate suggests that Americans should fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables. Yet, the government is still spending 3/4 of the food subsidies on meat, which should make up only about 1/4 of your plate.
Something doesn’t seem right, now does it?