The Food Police by Jayson Lusk
In today’s world we witness horrible epidemics and tragedies on a seemingly daily basis. There are groups of people out there, groups that Jayson Lusk refers to as the “food police” in his book so aptly titled, “The Food Police,” who choose to focus their energies on creating pseudo-controversies by using false or flawed research and drawing conclusions based on emotion rather than on logic. The food police have managed to influence the thinking of our media, schools, and even our government. By constantly spewing propaganda supporting their questionable claims, the food elite have made it clear that they seek a sort of totalitarianism when it comes to the food that you and I are buying and consuming. Things having to do with biotechnology, obesity, chemical usage on plants, and agribusiness have taken a huge hit as a result of these claims, simply because of the huge separation between farm and city. The food police want what is allegedly a more rational food system that meshes with their idea of what the world should be and with classic theories of social structure, when in reality, this just isn’t plausible. History has shown time and time again that the attempts of others to logically plan out their countries food production have failed. Stalin and Mao kept millions of starving Russians and Chinese from eating all while trying to force a seemingly more logical economic structure. The food that we consume and the money we use to buy it actually hinges on billions of small choices made by consumers, farmers and ranchers, agribusinesses, and supermarkets all in an effort to better themselves as much as possible within a strict set of what is normal, rules they have to follow, and institutions. The old men and women today, who lived in a time where working on a farm wasn’t so that they could “find themselves,” but because they had no other way, would be the first to tell you that those times are better left in the past. If a person wants to move outside the city limits and take up hobby farming, then they are more than welcome to, but they shouldn’t impose their preferences on the rest of us (Lusk, The Food Police). Throughout the last two-hundred years, we have seen what we can only be described as an incredible change in the safety, quality, and abundance of the food we consume. Though if the food police were to have their way, the technologies and practices that have made all of this possible would be taken away and we would be forced back to olden practices and ways of living; they want us to revert back to nature entirely, and throw caution to the wind. The farm population in the U.S. reached its highest point somewhere around 1910, and following World War I, commodity prices dropped dramatically as European farm production started back. Nothing was done until the Great Depression when Franklin Roosevelt passed farm price supports and controls of supplies in order to help out farmers. These policies soon led to a wreckage of agricultural commodities during a period where a good portion of the country was food deprived. Luckily the government doesn’t demolish commodities to keep track of supply anymore, but many of the income and price consolidations that came about with the New Deal are still in place today. Knowing all of this today, we should not submit to the wishes of the food police but sit back and take in what it is that the new technologies have to offer us (Lusk, The Food Police). The food police cling to the idea that we are somehow incapable of making smart decisions ourselves—behavioral economics. Because of this, they believe that if we aren’t intelligent enough to make wise decisions, then they have the right to make these decisions for us. There are three myths of behavioral economics: the findings from behavioral economics are really important, paternalism is different from elitism, and that experts can make better decisions than...
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