"If we're going to have a revolution, it's going to be in food.” Yvon Chouinard, Founder / Owner of Patagonia.
Here are a few reasons why (taken from excerpts):
The government remains a major player in the food business, among the biggest global industries in existence.
The simplest, arguably most effective stance you can take towards a revolution, lowering taxes, helping the environment, or whatever national/global change you want to see, is to avoid this list of government subsidized-foods, unless they are grown on privately owned, small-farms, as opposed to grown on Federally sponsored mega-farms. The Atlantic has put together a list of the top nine products that the government most heavily subsidizes:
Mega farms (in partnership with the Federal Government) are booming awash in record income– while struggling family farmers go begging. The major recipients of this income live in major cities like New York City, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles – not exactly farm country, or land of the blue-collar dream.
You're probably well aware that it's typically cheaper to buy a loaf of bread than a pound of broccoli or even a pound of ground beef than a similar amount of green peppers.
What makes vegetables more expensive than bread or meat? It's clearly nothing inherent to their growing requirements. Not at all.
One of the effects of the farm bill is to create a negative feedback loop that perpetuates the highly profitable standard American diet.
The Government is Subsidizing a Fast-Food, Illness-Causing Diet and they are making billions of dollars off our choices to continue funding this trend. Even most infant formulas contain the corn-sugar equivalent of one can of Coca-Cola!
Unfortunately, the government is showing no signs of subsidizing vegetables the way they do corn, grain and pasteurized milk. This is most like a result of the Department of Agriculture's deep alignment with agri-business. Current legislations protect the profits of these large industries at the expense of public health. This may surprise you, but the agriculture lobby is more powerful than even the pharmaceutical industry!
Tips for Eating a Non-Subsidized Diet at "Subsidized" Prices
It may be tempting to buy the cheap foods that the government is "paying you" to eat.
The easiest way to break free of this trap through your diet is by focusing on WHOLE, unadulterated foods, meaning foods that have not been processed or altered from their original state. If you really want to make a difference, trace the food back to the source. Buying local is the best option, and finding a connection to the farmer is even stronger. We can only hope that growers, food suppliers, grocers become more transparent in there practices each year, but this will not happen until the consumer demands this information.