Sunday, September 13th, 2009 | Author:

… courtesy of the NY Times, which is no surprise. I did warn you, didn’t I? I just thought it might take a little longer than three days. [HT to June who left the link in the comments at Northview Diary.]

Yup, the food police are smelling blood and entering the arena. Once Obama gets control of health care with another layer of bureaucrats to establish more “guidelines”, we can expect Mickey D to go the way of the dinosaur.

You might think I’m a big fan of the Big Mac. I’m not. In fact, believe it or not, I’ve never, ever eaten one. But I am a big fan of freedom, and I get downright persnickety when the government co-opts my ability to make my own decisions – about food, or anything else. And you can place bets that once those skinny, little french fries have been banned – I’ll probably eat them every day. Just because.

But time is on our side, and so are the cliches. The day will come when Michael Pollan, the author of that op-ed lament, and a professor of journalism at Berkeley, will regret his self-righteous, pompous, moralistic rant. Someday, someone, somewhere, will pass a law banning something that he loves. Freedom of the press, perhaps?

On that day, one of my grandmother’s favorite sayings will come to pass:

What goes around comes around.

And the Bible will, once again, be proven true:

He who digs a pit will fall into it,
And he who rolls a stone,
it will come back on him.
(Proverbs 26:27)
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12 Responses
  1. taylorshaw says:

    If those of us who work and pay taxes end up having to foot the bill for healthcare in this country for people who make poor nutrition choices then yes, I agree whole-heartedly with Michael Pollan. For the record, I agree with him on most things though.

    It amazes that me that people who do not have enough money to pay for healthcare do seem to find money for junk food, cigarettes and alcohol. It falls under the category of personal choices and priorities. People who make bad choices will continue to do so, regardless of the impact on their own personal well being or that of their family. I do not want to pay for that.

  2. threecollie says:

    It amazes me that people feel that they have the right to judge other people's choices.
    And uch of the hype about obesity is just that. Thin people are actually more likely to die of many heart problems than heavier people with the same degree of disease.

  3. threecollie says:

    And did you notice that most of the people spouting the Obama mantra have private profiles?

  4. Anonymous says:

    There was an 'investigative' TV segment a few years back, where they compared the retail cost of a healthy diet versus a junk diet. Healthy diets were priced out of range for the working poor. It cost way more, for example, to buy a drink of fruit juice than a soda made from government-subsidized corn.

    The main point of the article as I read it was that insurers would weigh in against the government continuing to subsidize the ingredients used to make junk food. Other articles have mentioned 'fat police,' but I did not notice that here.

    I thought it hilarious of the government to impose a 'soda tax.' First, they pay to encourage its production, then they charge to discourage its consumption. Maybe the 'soda tax' is earmarked to fund all the agribusiness subsidies.

  5. akaGaGa says:

    @taylorshaw: "People who make bad choices will continue to do so, regardless of the impact on their own personal well being or that of their family. I do not want to pay for that."

    We do agree on that. Personally, I think choosing to live in California is a bad choice. They have devastating wildfires and earthquakes, and heavy rain washes their cliffside dwellings away. I'm tired of subsidizing their pools and hybrids with federal "state of emergency" funding.

    The difference between you and me, though, taylorshaw, is that I don't want to pass a law to make you move. I just don't want to give you any more money.

    @threecollie: It is amazing, isn't it 3C? It makes it sound like they've never made a bad decision in their whole lives.

    FYI: Sitemeter tells me that taylorshaw is from the San Diego area, hence the California analogy.

    @Anon: We also subsidize the production of tobacco, and then tax the hell out of cigarettes. This tells us -clearly – that the government is not really interested in people getting healthy. They're only interested in finding more ways to steal our money.

  6. taylorshaw says:

    @akaGaGa – Interesting response. For the record, I have never had a fire or earthquake claim in 27 years and am by the way a conservative; albeit one that thinks very differently from you. You might want to add Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, The Carolinas, All of the tornado belt, NY, Maine, Minnesota, PA, and all the other states that have had snow storms, floods, tornados and terrorist acts to your list of places you should consider making people move from. All of these places have had government subsidized "relief" due to disaster.

    My comment was that I do not want a national healthcare system that I have to pay for if people are going to be included (at no cost) that make choices like those I listed.

    Michael Pollan's views on healthy eating reflect the fact that we have the ability to make choices. I agree completely with the anonymous post about the study that was conducted on the cost of food and how the working poor have a difficult time making good choices. But every middle class citizen in this country has the ability to make better choices and each dollar spent on a locally produced, sustainably grown, seasonal product is a vote to support better eating habits. When the majority makes a move like this it supports making the products more affordable and accessible to the poor.

    @3c – The costs associated with obesity are enormous. Obesity adds $93 billion to the nation's medical bill annually. Each year 112,000 people die from obesity-related causes, and the condition is responsible for an increased risk of chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Not to mention the impact this has on the children being raised by someone with this infliction.

    @Anon you are absolutely right about the government subsidizing things that are not healthy. Tobacco is a thing of the past but the corn & soy bean industries are in the here and now. 65% of your diet is a derivative of corn. High Fructose corn syrup is used instead of sugar in many foods; some which you would never even guess. If you saw where your food is coming from you would likely choose different options. I know I have.

    I suggest everyone see the movie FoodInc. and maybe even read Michael Pollan's book, "The Omnivore's Dilema."

  7. akaGaGa says:

    @taylorshaw: I thought it was an interesting response, too, but you seem to have missed the point. Let me try again.

    If you want to live in California and eat beansprouts, go for it. I will not support any laws that penalize or prevent your choice.

    A free government should allow me the same liberty, regardless of whether or not you agree with my "choices."

    Healthy eating is not a religion for me, and thanks, but I'll skip the Pollan bible. While I do try to eat properly, I am far more concerned with the state of my soul than the state of my body, because only one of them will last.

    BTW, are you the same taylorshaw that's on twitter? with a link to an inactive blog? whose last post was about campaigning for Obama? If so, you're a very unusual "conservative."

    FYI, I don't consider myself a conservative. While I agree with some – but not all – conservative viewpoints, the only label I claim is Christian.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @akagaga – for someone so concerned about your soul, you sure seem to carry a lot of hatred.

  9. akaGaGa says:

    Ah, taylorshaw, it's not hatred of people. It's hatred of attitudes and government policies that God hates – things like lying, or injustice and prejudice against fat people. We all have weaknesses, but fat people shouldn't be ostracized because their weakness is harder to hide than most.

    (And, yes, I can tell that last comment was from you, also.)

  10. akaGaGa says:

    @taylorshaw … again

    If you'd like to continue this conversation, you're more than welcome to send me an email:

  11. Radish says:

    I've read Pollan; he doesn't like people much. Farmers don't use fertilizer and hybrids because they're Earth-hating sadists, they use 'em because they can quintuple farm output, which feeds people. Pollan expects millions of poor (and mostly non-white) people around the world to starve to death so he can feel good about what people who can afford food produced the way he thinks it should be produced are eating. Wow.

    Obesity adds $93 billion to the nation's medical bill annually.

    Yeah, and that bill is well over a trillion. 9%…over half the adults are "overweight"…there's gotta be some skinny people running up that bill. Do you seriously believe only fat people get cancer, diabetes, hypertension, mental illnesses, swine flu? That's astoundingly ignorant.

    How about knee replacements for runners, or STD treatments for the promiscuous–why should I be expected to pay the bill for people who bring their disease and disability on themselves with their behavior?

    Oops, can't single out people who practice unsafe sexual behaviors, that's "unreasonable" and "bigoted." We have to allow them their liberty. But people who eat in a fashion unapproved by people like @taylorshaw, they have to be punished for their sins.

    Good grief.

  12. akaGaGa says:

    Your points are well-taken, Radish. I am stupefied by those who think "Mother Earth" is more important than people. (I was going to bring up homosexuality and AIDS in the next round, but I guess @taylorshaw has given up.)

    And I'm impressed that you've actually read Pollan. I'm afraid I'd have thrown him under a tractor.