In the most worn-out fallacy of the year, yet another food elitist has taken to blaming farmer for American’s burgeoning waistline. As I’ve documented here before, there is a small but vocal cabal of these radicals calling for the heads of mainstream farmers rather than embracing the individual responsibility of American consumers. Rather than calling for each of us to be responsible for our own health and well-being, these activists want to dismantle the food production system and infrastructure in this country so you don’t have to take any responsibility for your own actions. To point, blogger Zachary Adam Cohen, who purports to be some sort of television producer, offers this:
The food that America produces makes us fat. That’s it, plain and simple. It’s not our lack of exercise, our stationary lifestyles, our hours in front of the computer and the television. It’s our food. It’s fast food, it’s chain restaurants, nutrient-free produce, and the thousands of food-like products that the food industry pumps out every year. Our food has made us fat.
So, congratulations hard-working farm family, you are now reduced to producing “nutrient-free produce” and “food-like products.”
Cohen goes on to offer further repudiations of my call for personal responsibility:
Even if a farmers responsibility ends after they harvest their food, farmers are still, at the end of day, producing the food that is sickening America. They can, and do blame the American people, and their lifestyles, for the obesity and weight-related problems. Here is why this reasoning stinks.
Because even accepting their logic that its the lifestyle of Americans these days that is making them fat, they are accepting that the food they produce isn’t helping! And well, knowing what they do, about our sedentary lifestyles, our lack of exercise etc, they still make that food. When they don’t have to. What does that tell you? It tells you that they don’t care about the American consumer. Because their responsibility stops at harvest.
Ah, so not only are you producing “nutrient-free food-like” substances, you’re now producing food that is out and out making Americans sick. Well done farm friends!
Does blogger Cohen offer any remedy to this terrible slight on the part of the American farmer? Indeed he does:
Why not switch to foods, like sustainable, organic fruits and vegetables, that in a thousand years of gorging could not possibly fatten America? Why not put away the corn, the wheat, the soy that goes into the tens of thousands of food-like products and grow something that in the end, exercise or not, won’t make Americans fat!
There you have it folks: social control. At the end of the day, if you can’t convince Americans to take responsibility for their own actions and choices, take those choices away from them! Since a percentage of us won’t get off the couch or from in front of our computers enough to burn off some of these “excess calories,” let’s just force all consumers to eat only “sustainable, organic” produce.
This line of thinking is absurd to the point of being extreme. This is the kind of nonsensical society engineering I expect in Communist strongman regimes like North Korea or Venezuela. The US farmer produces enough food to feed this country and millions of other hungry people around the world precisely because we turn high energy products like corn and soybeans into highly nutritious meats like pork, beef, and poultry, or to nature’s perfect beverage milk. Forcing farmers into “sustainable organic” production systems will not only fail in the stated goal of feeding Americans food that is “better for them,” such radicalism will lead to massive amounts of hunger and starvation because the allocation of resources in food production is optimized in the current infrastructure by a century of market-based supply and demand signals to farmers around the country.
Setting that inconvenient truth aside, the movement of thinking of this country to absolve us of individual responsibility on a number of issues is frightening. By whitewashing the individual’s responsibility to eat & exercise appropriately, to buy a home they can actually afford and pay the mortgage, to save for their own retirement, etc., is to relegate the American citizen to a mindless drone in the hive of society, incapable of fending for himself or making rational decisions. Such a drone requires a “big brother” government to take care of him.
Americans don’t need that kind of Orwellian malfeasance, and farmers don’t deserve the blame for American’s health and wellness shortcomings.
After all, the new Camaro will do 155; using this same faulty logic, how long before Government Motors should pull the plug on such an unsafe automobile?