I was listening to Micahel Pollan on the radio last night (yes, on NPR; I was drinking chardonnay and eating sushi too) do his usual spiel on food, although this time it involved him promoting his new film “Food, Inc.” And although I know his viewpoint already — the American diet is unhealthy and politicians don’t care because they accept money from food corporations — this time I got angry.
Maybe it was because this time Pollan told a story I hadn’t heard before: about how in 1977 Senator George McGovern led a committee that called for Americans to eat less red meat, until the meat industry threw a hissy fit and forced the committee to water its position down to “eat less saturated fat.” I just hate the fact that a single industry gets to throw money at politicians and thereby screw the American public.
Or possibly it’s because Pollan was speaking in the middle of the debate over health care reform. Politicians are feuding over the cost of health care and insurance, but they continue to throw subsidy money at the corn farmers and beef ranchers whose products are what make our diet so unhealthy. Hell, even the Wall Street Journal ran a column yesterday in which a doctor said that preventing obesity would save enough money to cover everything and everyone else.
So politicians, I ask you, again, please try to do what is right for the American people, and stop doing what some lobbyist pays you $2,000 to do.