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Michael Pollan Op Ed

September 10, 2009

I am rather frequently reminded how lucky the local food and agriculture industry is to have someone like Michael Pollan fighting for the lifeblood of what we all stand for. By now, he is a very well respected, widely-heard voice around the world, and he just published yet another very insightful piece as an Op-Ed response to Obama’s speech last night. The article, a look at the relationship between our food industry and our health care system, can be found here:

But here are some of the most interesting points, in my opinion:

“We’re spending $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to the so-called Western diet. One recent study estimated that 30 percent of the increase in health care spending over the past 20 years could be attributed to the soaring rate of obesity, a condition that now accounts for nearly a tenth of all spending on health care.”

“To put it more bluntly, the government is putting itself in the uncomfortable position of subsidizing both the costs of treating Type 2 diabetes and the consumption of high-fructose corn syrup.”

“A patient with Type 2 diabetes incurs additional health care costs of more than $6,600 a year; over a lifetime, that can come to more than $400,000. Insurers will quickly figure out that every case of Type 2 diabetes they can prevent adds $400,000 to their bottom line. Suddenly, every can of soda or Happy Meal or chicken nugget on a school lunch menu will look like a threat to future profits.”


One Comment leave one →
  1. nadine permalink
    September 11, 2009 5:49 pm

    excellent stuff. thanks Breeze.

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