Freedom is a topic near and dear to all of our hearts, and there are few areas of our day-to-day lives that are controlled more tightly by government than what we eat and drink. The Feds have their dirty little paws in our food, through the marvelously efficient Department of Agriculture and the FDA (and the Department of Education just loves them some dictatorial power too). Every state, and most municipalities have large bureaucratic systems in place to control food production, sale and service. Of course they have the jackbooted thugs of law enforcement to make sure that little Jimmy and Sally don’t sell lemonade on the corner without an inspection certificate, food-handling certificate, business license and a fully plumbed facility inspected by the building department.
But all of these organizations, which I see as the tip of the spear of totalitarianism, have yet to manage the holy grail of big government; getting into our heads and directing exactly what we buy with our food dollar. And that’s the big problem. They rail about bad choices and Big Agriculture controlling what we eat, but the reality is that America has at its fingertips the greatest variety of food the world has ever known. Even ghetto markets have relatively inexpensive produce and other “healthy” choices that dwarf the choices our parents and grandparents had. But according to our overlords in Washington, we are choosing badly. And how do they know that? Because we are fat.
But we aren’t fat because we sit on our lazy asses and watch 500 channels of TV instead of going to the park with our kids. We aren’t fat because cars are so damned inexpensive that even our poor own one (or two) and drive instead of walk.
No, we are fat because ConAgra puts high fructose corn syrup in our cereal, instead of pure, natural unadulterated sugar. We are fat because Safeway markets high-margin, high-calorie products in the center aisles of their markets. We are fat because McDonalds has the temerity to serve an egg, some bacon, and a slice of cheese on a biscuit*….and charge only $1.79 for it! We are fat because New York City delis have the murderous habit of selling large containers of soda.
But one thing is certain; we aren’t fat because the government, in its infinite wisdom, decided to pimp a high carbohydrate, low fat diet to the American people, based on nothing more than some poorly designed studies and anecdotal evidence that eating fat must make you fat. And we aren’t fat because our schools (remember the Department of Education?) have systematically decreased the amount of time available for our children’s play, and limited that play to non-violent activities like watching videos and learning how to put condoms on bananas.
The clear message from the benevolent dictators is that we are incapable of making rational choices for ourselves, and that they must guide our every decision – in the best interest of the herd of course.
*The greatest hangover remedy known to man.