How Food Subsidies Keep Ultraprocessed Food Prices Low And Chronic Disease Rates High

Subsidizing food has been a practice in the US government for a very long time; we’ve subsidized sugar since 1790 and wheat, corn, and soy since 1933. All four of these foods, also known as commodity crops, are mainstay ingredients found in the ultra-processed foods driving chronic disease. And we taxpayers are footing the bill. Something is wrong with this picture.

In today’s episode, I talk with Dr. Robert Lustig, Ken Cook, and Paulette Jordan about the impact of subsidized commodity crops on food prices and our health.

Dr. Robert Lustig is a neuroendocrinologist with expertise in metabolism, obesity, and nutrition. He’s the Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology and a member of the Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. He is also one of the leaders of the current “anti-sugar” movement that is changing the food industry, in part through his game-changing books. His latest work is Metabolical: The Lure and the Lies of Processed Food, Nutrition, and Modern Medicine.

Ken Cook is the president and cofounder of the Environmental Working Group (EWG). He is widely recognized as one of the environmental community’s most prominent and influential critics of industrial agriculture and the nation’s broken approach to protecting families and children from toxic substances. Under Cook’s leadership, the EWG has pioneered the use of digital technologies to empower American families with easy-to-use, science-driven tools to help reduce their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in food, drinking water, cosmetics, and other household products.

Paulette Jordan was the 2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Idaho, becoming the first woman nominated to the position by a major party in the state and the first Native American woman nominated for governor in US history. She is recognized in Idaho and across the nation as an inspirational and audacious leader.

Full-length episodes of these interviews can be found here:

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