We Americans Seem To Be In Trouble. Could It Be Something We Ate?

Published: 17th June 2015
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We Americans seem to be in trouble. Three-fifths of us are overweight, including a third of our children, the first generation predicted to have a shorter lifespan than their parents. Rates of diabetes and the host of obesity-related diseases have exploded, but so have allergies, reproductive disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, and many types of cancers.

We're told, often enough, that as a society we Americans just don't get enough exercise. Apparently we're intellectually lazy, too, pretty ignorant about sound nutrition and how to make the best food choices.

For those who believe this, our national character explains a lot about why we lead the world in developing the so-called "diseases of civilization." What it doesn't explain is why the rest of the world gets fat, and sick, too, when we export our diet. Could there be something wrong with the picture of the lazy, slothful American.

Could it be something we ate?

Could it be corn, for example? Overproduced, genetically modified, government subsidized corn?

Might it be one, or many, of the 50,000 untested chemical additives added to our food supply?

Could it be pesticides on our produce?

Hormones in our milk and meat?

Might the antibiotics used to make our food animals fat be making us fat, too?

Are we really choosing to be fat, and sick? Or are the handful of corporations running our industrialized food system choosing for us?

Is it possible to restore food democracy and reclaim real food choice?

American consumers are in trouble. But we're not powerless. Not if we get smarter, get together, and get busy. Maybe its time to fight back!

Few of us can grow our own food today or obtain it from small farms where we know how it's raised. Today our food sources are mostly supermarkets, restaurants, vending machines. And while we enjoy the conveniences of our modern, industrialized food supply system, we're also at its mercy.

As fewer and fewer big players have come to dominate this system, real food choice for the consumer is disappearing. We don't really know what we're eating anymore. In the absence of sufficient testing or monitoring to determine human health impact, we don't even know that it's safe. While the corporate food sector gets better at protecting its bottom line, the interests of the food-buying public are being ignored. Our environment is being degraded. Animals are being cruelly abused. Our tax dollars are being squandered. And we're getting sicker.

Consumer power can bring about change. But we've got a fight on our hands!

To make the food industry more honest and transparent,

To remind our elected representatives of their responsibility to the eating, and voting, public,

To redeem the FDA from the clutches of Big Food and Big Ag,

To restore scientific integrity to food research and public health policy, and

To give our kids a fighting chance at good health and a long life.

We'll need to get smarter, get together, and get busy. We'll have to fight on many fronts. Most of us will have to pick a battle. But Americans are fighters. And each of us can contribute.

If you eat, this is your fight, too.


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What began as a young person's desire to help people transform the quality of their lives has grown into Baldasare's lifelong crusade. Known for his smart straight talk about food and fitness, Dr. Baldasare helps you navigate through the hype of conflicting health information so you can enjoy great food, better health and enhanced energy.

He is the author of THE GREAT AMERICAN FOOD FIGHT

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