Author Michael Pollan, whose best-selling books have prompted readers to think differently about food, is now asking the next president to rethink the nation’s food policies...
One of Mr. Pollan’s concerns is that national policies subsidize the least healthful calories that we eat. He notes that the “building blocks” of fast food are soy and corn, used to make hydrogenated soy oil, the protein and starch in cattle and chicken feed, and high-fructose corn syrup used in sodas and sweets.
“That’s what we’ve been heavily subsidizing, encouraging farmers to grow more of, and that’s what makes fast food so cheap,” he said. “Meanwhile over in the produce section, the head of broccoli costs more than a fast-food hamburger. Why is that? We do very little to encourage farmers to grow what are called specialty crops, which is actual food you can eat. We need to level the playing field between the unhealthy and healthy calories.”
He has also called for a new definition of food.“What if we had a definition of food that said a food is something that doesn’t just have calories but has a certain amount of nutrients and micronutrients?” he asks. “If your product did not reach a certain threshold of nutrients per calorie, it’s just not food. We’re not even going to call it junk food. We’ll call it junk.” (full article)