A worthy, worthy read from a smart writer:
Much of the too-ample flesh of Americans (three of five are overweight; one in five is obese) comes from corn, which is a grass. A quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain processed corn. Fossil fuels are involved in planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting and processing the corn. America’s food industry uses about as much petroleum as America’s automobiles do.
During World War II, when meat, dairy products and sugar were scarce, heart disease plummeted. It rebounded when rationing ended. ”
Four of the top 10 causes of American deaths — coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer — have, Pollan says, “well-established links” to diet, particularly through “the superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat.” What he calls America’s “national eating disorder” is not just that Americans reportedly eat one in five meals in cars (gas stations make more from food and cigarettes than from gasoline) and that one in three children eat fast food every day. He also means the industrialization of agriculture, wherein we developed a food chain that derives too much of its calories — energy — not from the sun through photosynthesis but from fossil fuels.
The simplest solutions are often the most profound.