Thoughts on Government Control of Food

I really like to stay out of political arguments. I am the kind of person that has my opinion and I can get really angry when someone belittles it. But this subject is beyond Republicans or Democrats, Liberals or Conservatives, Obama or Palin.

Sometimes I get teased because I have to read every label. I have to know that there is no high fructose corn syrup in my children’s foods. I don’t like to eat out. If I can’t get eggs from my chickens (they aren’t laying right now) then I will pay the 4.00 for organic free range eggs rather than the 1.50 for the regular ones. I prefer to buy local produce. And on and on.

A few people have told me that people really don’t care what they eat. They just want it to be affordable, fast, and filling. I have been told that other people’s palates are not as developed as mine and therefore dishes that seem insipid to me are really quite delicious. And, most of all I have been told that this is the way it is because it just isn’t that much of a big deal. It’s food.

Some of these same people will pay huge amounts for designer pet foods that are made of things like  elk and wild caught salmon. They will research and make sure that their dog does not get corn products. They will buy this over priced food off the Internet while they are shoving Cheetos in their mouths and drinking diet Cokes…and watching their children down Happy Meals.

My heart breaks that that mentality. Do you realize that the FDA, which was created to keep things like formaldehyde out of milk (a common pasteurization practice at the turn of the 20th century) is now allowing substances just as harmful while going after the producers of wholesome foods? If that doesn’t prove to you that all you have to do to screw something up is let the government control it I don’t know what would.

Yes, the FDA should regulate and check producers. Certainly it is a good thing that ingredients must be listed on labels…BUT …

We the people should control the boundaries. It is up to us where the boundary lines are. Do you want someone telling you that you can’t consume raw milk products while allowing HFCS in everything from cereal to baby formula?

Is it really too much trouble to educate ourselves so that we can choose the food we give our families wisely? Or, are we do intent on making a living and furthering our careers that we just can’t be bothered to find out the facts about GMOs, HFCS, and other questionable substances.

Let’s not even begin talking about Monsanto.

Why would the government be concerned about small family farms, raw milk dairies, and such? I don’t know…Gee.. maybe because the pockets in Washington are lined with money from special interest groups? Ya think?

If the goverment wants to continue to o.k. dangerous additives in foods and you want to continue to buy them, I got no beef with ya. Go for it. But by the same token, please keep governement’s nasty fingers out of my pie as well. I will take the slim possibility of food borne illness from raw milk over the reality of cancer causing GMOs and HFCS any day.

It isn’t the small farms that are causing the problems in the food industry. It is the large, commercial farms that use animals as a commodity without consideration for their needs. It is the large commercial farms that use pesticides and chemicals to grow crops that look great and taste like library paste. Nearly every widespread food borne illness has been the result of commercial practices. Mad Cow Disease? It came from people feeding their cattle feed with ground up cattle in it. You can’t take an herbivore and make it a carnivore without nature getting even.

I don’t think anyone who is against the government’s over-exuberant interference wants to force anyone into eating raw kale three times a day; by the same token I don’t think we want to be forced to give up the foods we want either.

If the government can put warning labels on cigarettes and alcohol and still sell these products why can’t they do the same with raw milk products and other foods that they deem hazardous? Let the public decide for themselves.

At what point are the American people going to stop paying for feigned safety with their freedom of choice? If you ever wondered why in the world, with my extremely busy life I would want to have chickens (and long for a dairy cow) this is why. When a small farm is ordered to destroy 50,000 pounds of cheese it is time to think about what we are allowing the government to do. After all, who is in charge, here?

image: (c)maryeaudet 2008

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  1. Mark says

    It’s actually more a problem with your state than the FDA or CDC. 22 states out law raw milk, not 50. In Kansas you have to buy it from a farmer not a store.

  2. says

    It is totally disturbing to me that they’ll let the big corporations poison us, and mess with our food supply, but raw dairy is bad? And these Franken-salmon are ok to eat? Ugh!

  3. says

    I couldn’t agree with you more. My husband gives me grief because I spend too much time reading labels and too much money buying organics, but neither of us have been to a doctor in over 5 years, with the exception of a broken ankle I received after falling down the stairs. If it weren’t for my label reading, chances are we would be obese and suffering from God-knows-what, like most of our family members and friends. I’m fed-up with government interference. It would be one thing if they actually did their job. Instead, they are doing everything possible to push through crap-food and push out small farmers.

  4. Jim Mosier says

    Combined, you and I don’t have enough wealth to even get a seat at that table. Big money players, gaming our futures, for pure greed, profit, and golden parachutes. Now we are gamed by the futures markets and derivative traders-see sugar prices lately? I wonder if they really feel safe at night paying that Wackenhut Guard $8.00 an hour for their security in their gated communities?

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