How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health – Advertising, Marketing (2002)


How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health - Advertising, Marketing (2002)

Food politics are the political aspects of the production, control, regulation, inspection, distribution and consumption of food. About the book:

The politics can be affected by the ethical, cultural, medical and environmental disputes concerning proper farming, agricultural and retailing methods and regulations.

A cultural backlash against an increasingly mechanized food industry has taken a number of different forms.

Local food is a loosely defined term that describes a movement to shift food expenditures by individuals, families, community organizations, schools, restaurants, and other institutions from foods produced and shipped long distances by larger corporate entities to regional farmers and other local producers of food. Small farming interests, relatively heterogeneous products and short supply chains characterize local food markets, though there is no agreed-upon measure of the distances that constitute “local.” Community-supported agriculture is a mechanism for connecting consumers with local farmers.[25] Farm-to-table efforts are also part of the local food movement.
Meatless Monday is a public health awareness campaign encouraging individuals and families to eat a meat-free diet at least once each week. Launched in 2003 through the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, its focus is on preventable diseases associated with excessive meat consumption [26] but the campaign has also been incorporated by many concerned about sustainable agriculture and the environment.[27]
Slow Food is an international movement founded in Italy in 1986, with Slow Food USA established in 2000. The organization stands in opposition to “the standardization of taste and culture, and the unrestrained power of food industry multinationals and industrial agriculture.”[28]
Among those influential in the food movement in the United States are writers, including Michael Pollan and Marion Nestle, and celebrity chefs such as Alice Waters, Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver. Popular books and movies on contemporary topics in food include Fast Food Nation, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the documentary Food, Inc.. In 2011, the president of the American Farm Bureau Federation referred to this influential group as “self-appointed food elitists” and the Washington Post published an op-ed from Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, defending the work he and colleagues have done to improve food systems in the United States.

Offering government food assistance to the lowest income Americans dates back to the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and has continued into the 21st century.[34] In FY 2011, the budget for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, which is responsible for the major feeding programs, was 7 billion. The largest single food assistance program in the country is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the provisions for which are contained in a Farm Bill that is re-authorized by Congress and signed by the president every five years. Benefits to SNAP recipients cost approximately billion in 2012. Largely uncontroversial for most of its history, the SNAP program was targeted for major cuts by members of the House of Representatives in the 2012 Farm Bill re-authorization attempt.[35] House leaders also endeavored to separate the SNAP program from the Farm Bill, splitting the long-standing coalition of urban and rural legislators who traditionally backed the renewals of funding for the Farm Bill every five years.[36]

Increases in the size of the SNAP caseload during the early 2000s were associated with increases in the unemployment rate and with a number of policy changes made to the program in many states.[37] A series of six measures to better understand employment trends developed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, three of which are more conservative estimates of unemployment and three of which define it more broadly, all showed correlations with SNAP participation. In particular, it was suggested that longer-term unemployment results in the heaviest utilization of SNAP benefits.
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  1. Food industry – my favorite subject. I believe, that the food industry is a lot to be blamed for obesity. It constantly invents and produces new food types, which have not existed before. The results are processed foods with a lot of preservatives, artificial colors and flavors.
    For example, I have to look hard to find a desert pudding, without artificial additives, and which have only natural ingredients, such as milk, cocoa and corn starch.
    Culprits for the existence of processed foods are also consumers, who demand fast foods, convenience foods, cheap foods and specialty foods designed for children.
    Why do you think those specialty foods for children are stocked on shelves at childrens eye level?
    I am not quite sure who is to be blamed for people's obesity condition, because people demand fast food items and the industry delivers. But I am sure that the industry can produce healthier food products if it was not for Monsanto.
    Monsanto must share the blame for a lot of new, rare and unheard off diseases and syndromes. I believe these problems are the result of all those GMO chemicals, which Monsanto has designed and patented for food production, which are approved with the collusion of our health agencies and which require no labeling.
    If you have not seen the documentary "FOOD inc", it is shown on public TV networks and a must-watch video and an eye-opener for many conscientious consumers who want to have healthier families.

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