Time to don the tin-foil constructed, conspiritard food magic cap once again, and point out that there are conspiracy theories and then there are conspiracy facts.
Here's one conspiracy fact - we are in the midst of an obesity pandemic, and it is in fact a pandemic that is deliberately instigated through subsidization by the federal government of USA Inc.
By annually borrowing more money from the Fiat Usury Cartel to exponentially and perpetually increase the compound interest due to further cast the increasingly expanding American serfs into irreconcilable debt bondage, THEY subsidize the Farm Bills for Big Ag Corps to manufacture and distribute the poisonous feed that drives the rise in the numbers of shambling mounds of the malnourished and morbidly sick, lumbering about from sea to shining sea, all across the bloated plains.
The sightings of such specimens are becoming increasingly more common everywhere in our brave new world order. You can find them at almost anytime, any day if you care to go looking for examples of what I'm describing here. They can be found parking there autos in handicap stalls with their State sanctioned placards of parking privilege, to then laboriously waddle over to the motorized shopping carts near the store entrances, so they can then scoot around their local global-corporate cartel distribution center, to load up on more of the processed feed that made them this way in the first place.
But there's far more to this equation than just simply considering the annual Federal Farm Bills passed by the stooges in congress, duly compensated for continuing the subsidizing of the RoundUpReady soy-corn-wheat industrial complex.
No sirree, it is now a virtually enshrined right, an entitlement benefit to ensure the average citizen has the subsidized means to acquire and consume these manufactured products that cause exponential corporeal expansion at an alarming rate.
The frequently condemned subsidized Big Ag farm bills (rightly so!) are only one part of this equation. We have to also consider the EBT/SNAP program and it's junk food "loophole." As one lady wrote into the letters department of the Augusta Chronicle last year, Why does EBT fund junk?
I am totally confused! The government is now regulating the type of food and fat content in schools. If the government is so concerned about obesity in young people, then why don’t they place restrictions on food bought and paid for by government EBT cards?
When I go grocery shopping, I see people in front of me in the checkout line with carts full of cookies, candy, chips and soft drinks, and they pull out their EBT cards to pay. All over supermarkets, you see junk food labeled “EBT-approved.” Why can’t EBT cards be restricted to nourishing staple foods such as chicken, beans, vegetables, milk, juice and healthy foods?
I regularly see the same thing here in Hawaii that a flummoxed taxpayer in Georgia notices as well. A commenter on the letter makes the same point I've made many times before:
Why junk food? Higher profit margins and large corporate lobbies. The individual receiving EBT assistance is only the middleman in the spending chain -- ultimately EBT money ends up largely in the pockets of the processed food industry, which has huge lobbying influence and deep pockets. They buy Congress, Congress makes sure spending continues to flow to their coffers. Excluding junk food from EBT would withhold money from heavyweights like Kraft, General Mills, Pepsi/Coke, FritoLay, etc.
Of course, if the likes of Kraft, GM, Pepsi/Coke, FritoLay, Nestle, Nabisco, Sarah Lee, et al are the heavyweights, let's not forget the 30000000 lbs. Godzilla in the room.... but I digress.
Michael Pollan is one guy who's been at the forefront of pointing out the key role the Federal Farm Bill plays in fomenting our deliberately subsidized obesity pandemic for the profits of Big Ag:
It’s an old story: the “hunger lobby” gets its food stamps so long as the farm lobby can have its subsidies. Similar, if less lavish, terms are now being offered to the public health and environmental “interests” to get them on board. That’s why there’s more money in this farm bill for nutrition programs and, for the first time, about $2 billion to support “specialty crops” –farm-bill-speak for the kind of food people actually eat. (Since California grows most of the nation’s specialty crops, this was the price for the state delegation’s support. Cheap indeed!)
There’s also money for the environment: an additional $4 billion in the Senate bill to protect wetlands and grasslands and reward farmers for environmental stewardship, and billions in the House bill for environmental cleanup. There’s an important provision in both bills that will make it easier for schools to buy food from local farmers. And there’s money to promote farmers’ markets and otherwise support the local food movement.
But as important as these programs are, they are just programs–mere fleas on the elephant in the room. The name of that elephant is the commodity title, the all-important subsidy section of the bill. It dictates the rules of the entire food system. As long as the commodity title remains untouched, the way we eat will remain unchanged.
The explanation for this is straightforward. We would not need all these nutrition programs if the commodity title didn’t do such a good job making junk food and fast food so ubiquitous and cheap. Food stamps are crucial, surely, but they will be spent on processed rather than real food as long as the commodity title makes calories of fat and sugar the best deal in the supermarket.
....and of course, let us also not forget to include the other profiteers of this great porking-up pandemic, the Banksters 2B2F.
JP Morgan is the largest processor of food stamp benefits in the United States. JP Morgan has contracted to provide food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. JP Morgan is paid for each case that it handles, so that means that the more Americans that go on food stamps, the more profits JP Morgan makes. Yes, you read that correctly. When the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, JP Morgan makes more money.
In short, there's a lot of money to be made in the fattening up of the American sheeple, and there is just too much momemtum, too much profits, and too much vested interest by too many entities to ever hope for any meaningful change to ever come about in our current political system based on balanced bullshit and perpetual peonage of We the Sheeple to the Fiat Usury Cartel.
In the mid-90's, Wal Mart first came to Hawaii in a town called Mililani, a small suburban community in the center of the island of O'ahu. For a short while, it was the number one Wal Mart in terms of sales in the entire country. (I only know this because an old high school friend worked there when they first opened).
People from all over the island would drive one to two hours just to go there to save a few bucks on toiletries, cleaning supplies and textiles made in China, that no other stores or chains anywhere else on the island could hope to compete with...not to mention it was the first store to remain open for business 24 hours a day here. The people of Hawaii went Wal Mart crazy the first few years they opened their doors here.
I remember one incident fairly well. I was at a different shopping center in the same town, and a car of local people pulled up to me as I was walking along the sidewalk, and asked me if I knew where the new Wal Mart was. They told me they were from Waimanalo - the far Eastern end of the island, a good 2 hours drive away at that time - and that they had never been to Mililani before.
To most folks in the USA Inc., 2 hours drive is literally nothing to ya'all. But on a small, densely populated island like O'ahu, two hours of driving through our winding, crowded and often gridlocked freeways and streets just to go to shopping at a store is not normal behavior.
I was amazed at how far these folks would drive just to shop at Wal Mart.
20 years later, we have Wal Marts, KMarts, Target, and Walgreens, and all sorts of National Chain super store/big box retailers all over, and nobody has to drive more than 15-20 minutes to get to one.
Prior to the arrival of these big National chain stores, Hawaii had a number of small, locally owned retail stores, some even family owned for several generations. Most of these are all gone now, and the one drug/sundries/retail chain that has been in business in Hawaii for a really long time and has a loyal following of locals that have kept it profitable in the face of big box competition, Longs Drugs, has been bought out by CVS.
Now Longs Drugs also had stores in California and a few other West Coast States, but in Hawaii, Longs has such a loyal customer base, it is the only place for which CVS opted to keep the name Longs Drugs for all it's stores, while all the Mainland stores have been changed to CVS.
This may seem like I'm going off on a tangent here, but stick with me for a bit more and you'll see what I'm getting at here with regards to this topic...
...anyhow, back when Wal Mart first opened, I remember shopping there pretty frequently, as I lived in a neighboring town at that time, about 10 minutes drive away. After a few years, I remember going into the store one day and noticed that they had started selling fresh produce. Not much, just a few crates of fruits and vegetables, and a single aisle of refrigerators selling a token amount of dairy and some processed meat products. At that time, I had also been to stores like Wal Mart, Target, Walgreens and other big box retailers on my trips to the mainland, and none of them carried fresh produce that I could remember.
Shortly thereafter, Longs Drugs followed suit, installing a very small "produce" section in the store. Like really small. A single, open air, refrigerated shelf, with a few heads of lettuce, apples, some processed American cheese slices, a few cartons of factory farmed eggs and some gallons of milk. I was always puzzled at why a store like Longs and Wal Mart, would have those dinky little produce sections...especially since that Wal Mart and nearly all Longs stores all over the island, were mostly located to prominent grocery store chains in their respective shopping centers.
I also noted that most of the time, this produce was of marginal quality and it usually looked like no one ever bought any of it, and it was almost never on sale and usually priced more expensive than the same produce brands and products found in any other Hawaiian grocery store. In fact, I even remember on a few occasions seeing Longs Drugs store employees loading up an entire cart of produce that had not sold and spoiled, and re-stocking the meager shelf with a new batch of most likely never-to-be-purchased produce.
I often wondered about the business decisions of a company like Longs Drugs and Wal Mart to waste floor space for a rinky-dink produce section, when they are immediately adjacent to popular grocery stores. Why would anyone buy there produce from a drug store or a Wal Mart? Why do these stores even bother trying to sell such meager offerings when customers need only walk 20 yards next door to a grocery store with much better selection and variety of produce at better bargain prices?
Several months ago, it finally dawned on me when I was buying some batteries from Longs, and I was in line at the register, observing another victim of the American Obesity Pandemic, unloading her shopping cart of cases of soda, snack cakes, chips and twinkies... then I watched her pay for it with her EBT card.
Stores like Longs Drugs could care less if they had entire cases of lettuce, tomatoes, apples and bananas rot and get thrown away every few days, never selling a single bit of it.
As long as they offer a minimum amount of fresh produce, they can then accept EBT payments for the copious amounts of obesity-generating feed on sale in the profit aisle. Prior to the addition of a single small "produce aisle" I'm positive the old food stamps where not allowed to be used to purchase all the junk food stores like Longs Drugs had always sold. I now believe the switch over from the old food stamps to the electronically controlled EBT/SNAP system happened at around the exact same time all these stores started getting into the fresh produce business. It's positively diabolical, and most certainly deliberate.
Yes, my fellow food magic conspiritards, I am blaming the American deliberate obesity pandemic on the USDA-Big Ag-Junk Feed-EBT-Big-Box-Store Industrial complex. Then again, we need not try and create a long acronym or such a large hyphenated label for this dastardly and malevolent conspiracy. Just understand that it is all just various facets of the one big Company Store that rules our globalized, "fair-trade" world.