Almost Ready Blogs

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Movies and Subsidies

 have been laying sick in bed for two days and that gave me time to catch up on a little movie watching. This afternoon I watched "King Corn". It's incredibly informative, if not a little scary. To follow the food supply from seed to consumerism is nothing less than shocking. This movie is incredibly interesting for those who are dealing with a corn allergy in some capacity, but equally interesting for consumerist America.

Part of what I learned is this: the government, with subsidies, rebates and "incentives" essentially control food production in the United States. 60% of non consumable corn is used for feed for cattle, pigs and chickens - those in the corn allergic community already knew that. According to Wikipedia, high fructose corn syrup in soda can produce 10 times the carbonyl compounds (which are incredibly harmful). Increased carbonyl compounds can lead to diabetes and diabetic complications such as foot ulcers and eye and nerve damage.
Large amounts of HFCS can lead the liver to produce large amounts of triglycerides and can induce insulin resistance. For those who say, "yes, but you would have to consume gallons of that to cause those problems" - on average, Americans consume approximately 70 pounds of HFCS per year - that's almost 9 gallons. A 2004 study found a cause and effect relationship between HCFS and obesity.
Here's my thought. The government, with their money, control corn growth - of which 30% is turned into sweetener. By extension, they are funding America's obesity problem. Now, they want to provide subsidized health care - in 2008, an estimated 24 million people in the US suffered from diabetes; as a matter of fact, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, diabetes costs $132 million dollars in healthcare every year.
I have a novel solution, decrease the amount of money subsidized to HFCS! That would decrease the cases of high triglycerides, diabetes and obesity (which costs 147 billion dollars in healthcare annually). We would save money in taxes, decrease the amount of money spent by health insurers on the results of obesity and diabetes; which would drive the costs of healthcare down incredibly for the insurers and the public. Maybe we could call it "trickle down sanity".