June 12, 2009

Blood on our Plates

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:59 am by Editorial Team

We have been blinded to the cost of of the food we put on our tables. In the past, food accounted for 1/3 of a family’s household budget. In today’s world, the average American household spends less than 9% of its budget on food.

Our food costs are so cheap, in economic terms; however, we’ve exchanged money for blood. We are blinded to the hidden costs of the food we eat. Both in the food’s effect on ourselves and in the effect the production of food has had on others.

The blood on our plates:
1. Our exchange for cheap junk food has become a staple in the lunch room leading to childhood obesity and unhealthy kids, which magnifies our long term health costs.
2. To mass produce quantities of food, we’ve injected chemicals into our plants and blanketed them with pesticides. In additional to environmental damages, many of these chemicals make it into our bodies.
3. Most of our food travels thousands of miles, leading to a high energy cost and poorer quality food.
4. Factory animal farms that pack in feed animals for slaughter and are kept in poor conditions have become breeding grounds for many human diseases such as mad cow, swine flu, avian flu, and e.coli.
5. Our cheap food is subsidized off the backs of poor citizens of third-world countries and our own country who are not paid a living wage and are subject to squalid living and working conditions. Their suffering is our saved income.
6. The average American eats 9 ounces of meat each day. Much of this meat comes from grain fed animals. These animals require a lot of energy for a low food return. This energy (food/grain) which could be feeding thousands of the world’s citizens goes into cattle and other animals yielding a smaller food supply.

Just a few of the costs that we pay in exchange for cheap food. I believe the costs will come back to bite us unless we drastically change the way to produce and use food.

Food. Inc is a documentary that will be premiering over the the next month around the country and serves as the basis for sources in this post.

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