Here’s Why Big Food Corporations Are NOT Evil

FrankensteinIf you spend any time thinking about the food infrastructure in the United States (and the world) you will get both discouraged and angry. Just a quick glance at our food system reveals a massive failure. I am talking about death and destruction on a globally epic scale. Frankenstein’s monster is loose in the countryside.

But in itself big food is a miracle of modern commerce.

It knows how to produce outrageous quantities of “food” products. It knows how to design amazing looking packaging and move millions of tons of product. It also knows how to produce exciting marketing to sell it. All of this productivity has many consequences, both intended and unintended.

First of all prosperity for the corporation this makes sense since making money is its number one goal. Secondly, people are fed. Which on the surface seems like a pretty good result. The untended consequences are where this story gets frustrating.

We all know about the undesirable things that happen as a result of the corporate food model. Things like environmental damage, use of pesticides and GMOs to bolster production. Perhaps one of the biggest areas of concern is the application of nutritional advice that ultimately ends up making us very sick. For example: The demonization of fat that started in the late 1940’s.

You have undoubtedly heard about the “science” that lead up to the creation of the food pyramid. In short, scientists such as Dr. Keyes and Dr. Stamler deduced that dietary fat was causing many of our food based health problems. This belief was eventually adopted by corporate food and has resulted in a food system that is fat phobic. Ironically, the very things that ACTUALLY cause the ills blamed on dietary fat were what they used as it’s replacement.

Even though it’s name has changed, we still live in the shadow of the food pyramid. Grain and corn are the darlings of the food ingredient universe. Try and find a “food” product that does not contain at least one or both of them. Treating all of the illnesses that come from such a carb heavy diet has become an everyday experience for those working in healthcare.

Additionally treating people that have been made sick by the corporate food model is very expensive. I’m talking about a LOT of money. Treatment of just one of the resulting diseases, costs nearly 500 Billion dollars each year. That is more that the GDP of most countries….and like I said , that is just one disease.

Most importantly, people are suffering and dying from the food culture being inflicted on them by big food corporations.

So this is when we all reach the logical conclusion that big food corporations are…well, EVIL (best pronounced “E-Ville” with your pinky finger pointed at the corner of your mouth).

The carnage that comes from the consumption of the stuff they call food…is horrifying. But I haven’t concluded that big food is evil.

…and here’s why.

They did what we asked them to do.

When everyone was running around worried fat would make them fat, we demanded that big food take the fat out of their products. “Yesss Massster” proclaimed the monsters we call big food. But then the food tasted dreadful, so we demanded the make them taste better. “Yesss Massster” they bellowed. The addition of High Fructose Corn Syrup made it all better, until everyone started getting sick…

We are them.

We do not live in a vacuum. If you invest in the stock market, you likely benefit from their aggressive self interested advertising and marketing tactics. After all they are making money to satisfy their investors. Making money from investments in food corporations is the equivalent of approving of their behavior.

They are us.

By this I mean, their employees are getting just as sick as we are. For example: Coca Cola has over 700,000 employees worldwide. If nearly 1 in every 4 people have diabetes or pre-diabetes then that means over 150,000 of Coca Colas employees do also. They are being directly effected both medically and financially. These are good hard working people that are trying to make ends meet. Even the executives of these companies are susceptible to the ravages of the Standard American Diet.

We live in a society that is eager to assign blame. We love it when we can collectively select a villain and blame THEM for the crimes perpetrated against US. This is much easier then taking personal responsibility. A much harder path to take is to evaluate the things we are doing as a society that contribute to this massive health crisis. The chain can only be broken when the villagers that created Frankensteins monster stop hiring him to help them move their furniture.

The advantage consumers have over corporations is that corporations cannot exist without them. They are defined and driven by demand. These corporate engines thrive on the approval of the very people they serve. Social media has demonstrated over and over how much these companies want to be “liked”.

Remember, “Frankenstein” was actually the name of the person that CREATED the monster! Since we created this monster, we need to examine whether or not we are condoning it’s behavior by our actions…and inactions.

Lathe Poland is one of the creators of the documentary film Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying To Eat.

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