Social media and social networks aside, we are what we eat! Given the corn-based food environment we encounter on a daily basis, we are what we eat and are getting heavier because of it. Instead of food, we’re consuming “edible foodlike substances” — no longer the products of nature but of food science. If you don’t have the means to purchase organic food, over the past 30 years, you are set up to gain weight. The issue is larger than our social networks and needs to be addressed at a systemic level.
According to Michael Pollen, a noted activist in food science, “Take a typical fast food meal. Corn is the sweetener in the soda. It’s in the corn-fed beef Big Mac patty, and in the high-fructose syrup in the bun, and in the secret sauce. Slim Jims are full of corn syrup, dextrose, cornstarch, and a great many additives. The “four different fuels” in a Lunchables meal, are all essentially corn-based. The chicken nugget—including feed for the chicken, fillers, binders, coating, and dipping sauce—is all corn. The french fries are made from potatoes, but odds are they’re fried in corn oil, the source of 50 percent of their calories. Even the salads at McDonald’s are full of high-fructose corn syrup and thickeners made from corn.
Corn is the keystone species of the industrial food system, along with its sidekick, soybeans, with which it shares a rotation on most of the farms in the Midwest. I’m really talking about cheap corn — overproduced, subsidized, industrial corn — the biggest legal cash crop in America. Eighty million acres — an area twice the size of New York State — is blanketed by a vast corn monoculture like a second great American lawn.”
So maybe in affluent social networks, we can break the cycle, but what is the solution for the less affluent with fewer choices?