Wednesday, June 15, 2011

J. Stanton On Government Subsidies: Why Americans Eat So Much Corn, Soy, and Wheat

"One reason grains are so cheap in the USA, of course, is gigantic subsidies for commodity agriculture that, while advertised as helping farmers, go mostly to agribusinesses like Archer Daniels Midland ($62 billion in sales), Cargill ($108 billion), ConAgra ($12 billion), and Monsanto ($11 billion)—and result in a corn surplus so large that we are forced to turn corn into ethanol and feed it to our cars, at a net energy loss!

There isn’t one grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. People who are not in the Midwest do not understand that this is a socialist country.

- Dwayne Andreas, Former CEO of Archer Daniels Midland

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds and costs $6.85. That’s 12.2 cents per pound.
A bag of Tostitos contains about 10 cents worth of corn, and costs $4.00.
That’s a 4000% increase.

A bushel of wheat weighs 60 pounds and costs $7.62. That’s 12.7 cents per pound.
A loaf of Wonder Bread contains about 16 cents worth of wheat, and sells for $4.40.
That’s a 2700% increase.

A bushel of soybeans weighs 60 pounds and costs $13.64. That’s 22.7 cents per pound.
A box of 'Silk' soy milk contains about 4.5 cents worth of soybeans, and sells for $2.90.
That’s a 6400% increase.

In other words, it’s highly profitable to turn the products of industrial agriculture—cereal grains and soybeans—into highly processed 'food'.

In contrast, pork bellies cost $1.20 per pound today.
A pound of bacon costs about $5.
That’s a 400% increase…

…which looks like a lot until you compare it with 2700%-6400% for grains. Also, unlike grain products, bacon must be stored, shipped, and sold under continuous refrigeration—and it has a much shorter shelf life.

It’s clear that it’s far more profitable to sell us processed grain products than meat, eggs, and vegetables…which leaves a lot of money available to spend on persuading us to buy them. Are you starting to understand why grains are encased in colorful packaging, pushed on us as 'heart-healthy' by the government, and advertised continually in all forms of media?"

- J. Stanton

Stanton's excellent blog post can be found in its entirety here: http://www.gnolls.org/2199/you-are-a-radical-and-so-am-i-paleo-reaches-the-ominous-stage-3/

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