Mithrandir, a regular here, posted his own response to yesterday’s post Food and Class, Culture and Education. He takes a contrary view to my point. He writes:
Do you know what made well-fed poor people possible? Big Ag. Large-scale agriculture, and the government regulation that went with it, made food cheap, safe and plentiful. Yeah, there’s room for improvement. But we, as a culture, have done absolutely incredible things with the food supply in the last century alone. When was the last time that you met an American-born person suffering from rickets, scurvy, beriberi, pellagra, or any other disease caused entirely by malnutrition. I know I never have.
Firstly – I agree that Big Ag needs to be commended for delivering the calories that they do. I do understand the sheer amount of infrastructure that needs to be in place in order to feed the citizens of a nation. I do not dispute that. However…
Point Two: As pardoxical as it sounds, obesity and malnutrition go hand in hand. Yes, rickets, scurvey, beriberi, etc have been reduced. But let me mention one word that trumps them all:
Obesity. Obesity reflects a diet containing excessive cheaper, carbohydrate rich foods. Obesity can and does lead to type 2 diabetes, especially when one has a diet primarily of sugar heavy carbohydrates. The number of diabetes cases among American adults jumped by a third during the 1990s, and more increases are expected. This rapid increase in diabetes is due to the growing prevalence of obesity and extra weight in the United States population.
Just a few thoughts one should think about before bringing scurvey into the picture. Nutrition is still an issue when it comes to feeding the country, and believing otherwise doesn’t change the fact that obesity, poverty and nutrition all go hand in hand.