Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Food Wars (Part III)

Organic farms generally do not sell their products nationally. Instead, they tend to cater to small rural communities and have a farmers market to sell their products. In our community people can even pick a pig or cow to purchase and it can be processed locally. This is great way to cut out price markups at food processing plants and super markets. But people in large metropolitan areas do not have the luxury of local organic or conventional farms. Thus, 75% of the people in the United States must get their foods imported from conventional farms. Thus, it is imperative for conventional farmers to find ways to make their products last and not spoil. Thus, they use some chemicals to preserve meats, fruits, and vegetables. The alternative is for more food to spoil and be wasted and this will benefit no one. Organic farmers are forced into the same quagmire when they have to ship their products to other markets. Keep in mind; some foods made by conventional farmers are sold overseas. This not only helps to bolster our national trade, it provides food, which in many cases goes to people that may otherwise starve. Once again, this can only be done with chemicals that preserve these foods. Another aspect of the food industry that is being attacked by nutritionists, environmentalists, animal rights groups, and plethora of other organizations is the food manufacturing industry. All parts of food manufacturing industry have come under fire for a variety of reasons. First, they hire a lot of illegal aliens and undocumented workers. Secondly, they use many food additives. Food additives are chemicals that can be used to preserve food. But in many cases food additives are substitutes for the real thing. In other words, it is possible to buy grape juice that does not have any grapes in the product. But being able to expand our food supply is imperative in the wake of our population explosion. Many left leaning organizations argue that salt, sugar, and fats are added to foods on purpose. They claim these additives are addictive and manufacturers want to get the people addicted to their products. Maybe this is true, but there are so many products that are addictive including alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and a host of other items. And let’s not forget that many food additives such as calcium in milk and omega 3 folic acids in a variety of other foods are said to have made Americans healthier. The food manufacturing industry is being blamed for the obesity problem facing our nation. This too may be true; but there must be some individual responsibility for one’s health. One solution is tax unhealthy foods to pay for our growing national health problem caused by obesity. The government and the anti-food industry clan can try to influence people to eat healthier, but they cannot force them to do anything they do not want to do. Global warming alarmist attack the food industry for its role in emitting carbon emissions into our atmosphere. They blame meat eaters for the extra carbon emissions from flatulence created by animals. They blame food manufacturers and conventional farmers for the increased carbon emissions to ship their products around the globe. This is just a bunch of nonsense because this only constitutes a very small percentage of the overall carbon emissions produced in our country. What other option do manufacturers have? The bottom line is that both sides think they are 100% right and there is no middle ground. Unfortunately, with over 300 million people in the United States and another 6 billion people around the globe to feed, chemicals are needed to improve production, increase quantities, keep costs low, expand the food supply, preserve food, and in some cases improve nutrition. It is also absurd to presume that there is enough food to feed 6 billion vegetarians; this is why animals are an essential part of the food industry equation. It is funny how the left complains about our food industry, but they fail to see the big picture and fail to offer any legitimate solutions. The left complains about people starving in our country and around the globe, but they want to hinder food production. Progressives complain about the horrors of the food manufacturing industry, but do not care that they employ and take advantage of illegal immigrants. Liberal arguments simply do not make any sense; yes it makes sense to use safe chemicals in the food process, but to eliminate all chemicals is just asinine. My Book: Is America Dying? (Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble)

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