Health Crisis and the American Farmer

Michael Pollan made a very dramatic point when he said that;

“spending on health care went from 5 pecent to 16 percent of national income, spending on food has fallen by a comparable amount, from 18 to 10 percent.”

It is not even that much of shock when you realize that health care in many peoples minds is more important then putting food on the table but as Pollan pointed out, our health care has increased because the leading causes of chronic disease in the United States all come down to our diet as Americans. American’s have some of the worst diets in the world, we are so much an on the go society, that we do not think to sit down and enjoy a meal with family or to just to cook a meal in general, so much of our “convenient” food is processed and full of junk.

Families need to begin to be more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and where their foods are coming from. It goes back to what was discussed in the article, A Short-Order Revolutionary, is it better to buy locally, fresh, organic produce, in order to begin the process of cutting back on our health care which starts at home with improving our diets. It is a reality that we as Americans are looking for convenience and are not looking to spend the time to grow a garden or to even begin to buy locally, since with local and many times with organic foods you can not be guaranteed that you will always be able to get what you want when you want it, since they do not mass produce like major food distribution companies.

In the last few years there has been a trend that more Americans are beginning to buy organically because it has become to new “thing” to do, but why then are there so many Americans still dealing with so many health issues? People do not like change and to completely change the type of diet they are accustomed to or their lifestyle and habits will not happen in today’s society. It would be nice to see the American culture go back to a time when you only had seasonal food, not being able to get strawberries twelve months out of the year when you know that in December you are just wasting money because the fruit will not last more then a few days. In a sense if you look at seasonal food like establishments like The Freeze there is such a high demand for the ice cream from April through September and then you have to wait until the following April for more, as a community we continue to wait in line on the first day and the last day stocking up on that final ice cream treat, and as a business they have been able to survive all these years, could it be said that the same thing would happen if you only offered strawberries from April to September, will you sell more in a short amount of time and possible make a larger profit? Will more American’s spend the money to buy something that is not offered every day since we are also a society that seems to want what we can not always have?

3 Responses

  1. I really like this idea. I think there is something to be said about appreciating more what you can’t always have. Maybe a stupid comparison, but I always said growing up in Pennsylvania made me appreciate summer more than anyone in California or Flordia ever could. When the first days of summer arrive, I indulge in the sun as if it is going out of style. I might feel the same way about strawberries, grapes, or tomatoes if they weren’t always at my fingertips. A good ripe tomato in the late summer is a real treat, and if I couldn’t eat them all winter it would probably be even more gratifying.

  2. I believe changing our diet to local grow would be beneficial to American health, but changing your diet alone will not solve the entire problem. Americans need to lead a more active life style accompanied by a better diet plan.Also, Locally grow food is not necessarily healthier. Locally produced Ice Cream like the Freeze had more fat in their product because they use more milk than chain ice cream places like Dairy Queen. Recently, I have noticed add on TV like the NFL’s “play and hour a day” program. Although this is a program geared towards children, I believe adult could also adopt a more active lifestyle in order to lower the amount spent on health care.

  3. This actually is a really interesting idea. As Americans, we are completely oversaturated with choices and conveniences. How many different brands of one thing do we really need? It’s actually funny to watch people in the supermarket just staring at stuff in the aisles, completely overwhelmed by the struggle of which brand of canned soup to buy. I’m not saying I’m not just as guilty of it, but I do think it’s a little ridiculous how willingly we accept this notion that the faster and easier we can feed ourselves, the better. I wish we would all just take a little more time in the actual process of getting the food (aka making the trip to an open air market or somewhere other than a supermarket) and the actual preparation and eating of it.

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