Our healthcare system is beginning to sound more and more like a vast conspiracy theory, more than medical care.
Many are pointing out these days that our healthcare begins at home, and they’re right. But in saying this, they’re indicating that our diets are causing many of our healthcare problems; again, absolutely correct.
But some in Congress believe we should tax things like soda, snack foods and other things that cause many of these health problems to begin with. Not a bad idea, but history shows it doesn’t really work.
There have been taxes imposed by states on liquor, and by all levels of government on tobacco for years, yet the rates of alcoholism and smoking have not declined. People will adjust their economies to match their desired menus.
Though we don’t think that such a tax is bad, and actually endorse it, the problem is not simply one of our eating habits. It’s what in the foods we eat.
High volumes of palm or coconut oil, preservatives, antibiotics, high fructose corn syrup and other additives cause many of our health problems.
An example of this is a company well known for producing cranberry juice cocktail and various blends. Their products contained sugar, which of course is not good for you, but in 2007, they changed all their products to include high fructose corn syrup, sweetening the products to a nauseating point because “our marketing people told us we could sell more to families”.
What point, we’d like to know, does that or other companies like them, reach where the social responsibility goes out the door in favor of profits? Sure, sugar is more expensive and not good for you and neither is the less expensive corn syrup but in the long run, which is worse?
Many social commentators are now stating that the healthcare industry is actually promoting the use of such additives in order to keep American’s ill because when we are, they make more money, even when they have to tap into Federal social benefit programs like Medicaid and Medicare, not just private insurance.
Whether they’re right or wrong, there’s something to be said for the fact that one thing does lead to the other. Our bad diets do lead us to serious health problems, requiring medical attention and often specialist care.
But we’re not conspiracy theorists.
So we support not only the concept of taxes on these foods and beverages, but we ask that many of them be banned from the food supply chain without direct FDA approval. After all, does canned soup need corn syrup? Can’t we provide our children with sweet beverages that don’t make them obese before the age of five?
We support agribusiness, but its time to look seriously at what these additives and preservatives are doing to our health and find safe alternatives, like leaving them out entirely. With more and more people moving to organic foods, perhaps it’s time to make the organic movement the national dietary standard.
John Kennedy and most presidents up to Ronald Reagan used to talk about healthy eating and exercise, but none since has made much of it. So we’re urging President Obama to talk to the nation about cutting back on portion sizes, eating more organic foods, and having an apple instead of a bag of chips for a snack. But we urge him to order the FDA to investigate and implement immediate controls on food additives to protect the American public now.