Are you smart enough to choose what you eat?

By Gene Hall

How’s that for a provocative headline? Make no mistake, there is a food elite, called The Food Police,” in an excellent book by Dr. Jayson Lusk that is quite determined to substitute their food choices for yours.

The thing I like about this book is that it so completely explodes all the food myths out there. I am not at all opposed to the local food movement, for example. I guess I assume that when it breaks down, as it must, that there will be exceptions. I hope so, because there just isn’t much commercial fresh fruit and vegetable production in Central Texas, where I live.

In his book, Lusk sources this statement from a well-known food activist:  “We have to battle the idea that you can have anything you want any time you want it.”

Really? Our phenomenally successful U.S. agriculture has been doing exactly that for decades!

The “Food Police” want us to march boldly…right into the past. We deal with a lot of outrageous claims in this space, but the food elite have never really managed to prove they have a better way. Lusk and others have pretty much closed the deal, though, that modern agriculture is more efficient than the rocky path the “Food Police” want to travel. As described in the book, efficiency leads to a bunch of other very good things.

I am not about to tar every food issue with the same basting brush, but when someone is suggesting that you don’t have the right, or the ability, to decide for yourself what you want to eat, pay attention. The “Food Police” would rather you let them decide. They have a food plan for you, like it or not.

I recommend The Food Police—A  Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate—by Dr. Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State.

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

6 Responses to “Are you smart enough to choose what you eat?”

  1. I had not heard of this book & now plan to read it. Thanks for blogging about it! Jennie

    • It’s a fun book to read, Jennie. I finished it coming and going to DC on the plane. It got a lot of “amens” from me!

  2. Reading your post and having just finished off the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, I am reminded of the Pilgrims. The turkey is pretty self explanatory, but why would your article remind me of the Pilgrims? Because those brave souls and millions more since then left places where some type of “Food Police” i.e. Tyrannical King, was trying to make their choices for them. They wanted to make their own choices. So they sailed to the Land of Freedom. Where will we sail when some “Tyrannical King” i.e. Food Police, take our choices away?

    As a farmer’s wife, I trust the food my farmer husband produces. As a trained biochemist, I trust the food my conventional farming practices farmer husband produces. I’m not sure Gene, but I think the answer to your question is yes, I am smart enough to choose my own food. And I won’t let some Tyrannical King’s Food Police take that choice away, no matter how many soap boxes I have to wear out!

  3. William Kalbow says:

    They may not be large,but there are vegetable farms,peach and pecan orchards in central Tx.A few years ago after leaving the Txfb convention in Waco I missed my turn trying to get to hwy 6 and ended up east of waco near the Brazos river and I saw a small vegetable farm.Of course I noticed this as I have a small vegetable farm near Houston.I urge people to buy local when possible.Texas produces the best peaches,watermelons and pecans.

    • Gene Hall says:

      The key, William, to what you just said, is “when possible.” Local is a nice idea but it is not a magic bullet. Read the book.

  4. Local produce is a wonderful alternative, for those who can afford it – however it is not a lead-pipe cinch way to feed 330 Million people, as FLOTUS and her small family farms clique advocate.

    As one who remembers the days when there were months of sparse veg and fruit availability at our small town grocery store, I am amazed to partake the availability in the large city markets nowadays. Innovation has happened for a reason. Do we really want to voluntarily go back to ways resembling the Amish methods of farm production?

    My mother was born in the twenties. She never liked antiques, said she had “been there, done that”. I love the old ’50s tractors in the hometown parade, but prefer my air-conditioned 8530 JD for real farm work.

    Have no doubt, the current regime is a danger to industrial agriculture production. The recent EPA and FDA pronouncements have verified we have a target on our back.

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