Posted in Research on February 18, 2013
a must read–vindicating and gets to the root cause–corporations using our government to do whatever they want regardless (or intentionally because) of is impact on us. Points out that individual choice is a myth.
Fast food is a multi-billion dollar industry that relies on a close
relationship with the government to ensure profits. While many outspoken
critics of the food justice movement advocate a free-market society based on
consumer choice, these arguments ignore the fact that, in many cases, true
freedom of choice is not available to many Americans. The narrowing of
choice results from the deals made between the government and the meat,
dairy, and fast food industries. This cooptation keeps fast food prices
artificially low. Multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns infiltrate schools
and poor neighborhoods, instilling mistaken beliefs about nutrition in
communities that lack the resources to counter the deception. Until more people
make these connections and understand the vulnerabilities faced by poor
African American and Latino communities, food oppression will continue
To approach equality in health choices and quality of life, the government
should acknowledge and terminate its complicity with the fast food industry.
This would entail a shift in nutrition education, beginning with a racially
inclusive and vegetarian-friendly revision of the federal food guidelines. The
government should also support nutrition programming that targets areas and
communities affected most by the health crisis. State governments should
follow California’s lead by banning junk food from schools. 24 Regulations
should require fast food companies to provide accurate nutrition labeling on all
their products. Restaurants failing to comply should be fined, with the proceeds
going to health and educational programs. The government should provide
funding to groups like the People’s Grocery and B-Healthy! that are taking
responsibility for getting fresh food to the people who need it most. The
Federal Trade Commission should regulate fast food advertising, banning ads
specifically aimed at children. 24 1 Activists should make food oppression a
central concern, demanding media attention and government intervention.
Sustained efforts to accomplish these goals will result in a major shift in public
thinking that, in turn, may lead to significant improvements in health and
quality of life for low-income, urban communities of color.
240. California now bans soft drinks in elementary, middle, and high schools, has a
nutritional standard for vending machine snacks, and requires more fruits and vegetables in school
lunch programming. Although not perfect, these laws are a step in the right direction. 2005 Cal.