Modern farming techniques have changed the way America produces food. The U.S. grows more corn than any other country on the planet. These modern farming techniques, combined with massive government subsidies, have turned corn into an incredibly productive — and incredibly cheap — crop. 90 million acres of corn are farmed every year in the U.S., and < 1% of that is sweet corn, the type people actually eat. So, what is the corn being produced and used for? To worsen the American diet and enlarge waistlines?
The other 99% of corn being produced is used to feed livestock, or processed into common ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, a low-cost sweetener. This has resulted in bad food becoming cheaper, while healthy food is getting more expensive. The price of soda, chips, and other snacks has gone down over the past 30 years, while the price of fruits and vegetables has gone up. The source of corns influence in our diets comes from the $500 billion Farm Bill, which Congress passes every few years. This legislation greatly influences what goes into our grocery stores, onto our plates and into our bodies.
When people are faced with the challenge of putting food on the table to feed themselves and their families, the lower cost choices make more economic sense, but are they really good for us?
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