Processed Food is the New Tobacco

The processed food industry has been complicit in the obesity and diabetes epidemic. Corporations have been creating food like substances not to provide nutrition, but for maximum profitability. There are teams of scientists crafting food combinations to make the cheapest, most addictive food possible. They optimize for crave-ability, palate-ability, shelf life, cost-effectiveness, and above all else, sales.

In exchange for cheap fake food, countries, and taxpayers around the world are now subsidizing the health care costs associated with the consumption of these products. The estimated annual health care costs of obesity-related illness are over a staggering $150 billion (CDC) or nearly 13% of annual medical spending in the United States alone, that doesn’t include lost productivity.

It’s no wonder everyone is getting fat and sick when eighty percent of what we find in a grocery store is ultra-processed food, made from cheap, nutrient deficient seed oils (soybean oil, corn oil), sugar, and refined grains. Providing a healthy diet is not the food industry’s goal. It’s more profitable to create and sell endless combinations of sugar, salt, oil, and flours. And thanks to food industry-funded studies, the majority of these fake foods have been passed off as being “heart-healthy” for decades.

Our ancestors processed food to maximize nutrient density, our processed food industry does it to maximize addiction and their bottom line. If you look at the areas that light up in the brain when people eat these highly palatable foods, it triggers the same addiction areas of the brain as cocaine. It’s time to start regulating the food addiction industry that’s making us fat, sick, and unhealthy.

Vote with your dollars in the store. Purchase fresh produce, meat, eggs, and dairy. Avoid processed food and refined grains. It might cost more and require you to learn how to cook, but it’s significantly more affordable than a lifetime of health problems.

People’s health and well being are more important than quarterly earnings.

– Shane Lamotte

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