Monday, February 13, 2012

Why Is a Big Mac Cheaper Than a Salad?

Between the arrival of 'dollar' menus at fast food restaurants and the rising cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, we've reached an era where it is actually cheaper to feed your family at McDonald's than to go to the produce department, buy raw vegetables and cook a healthy meal at home.

There are many and varied reasons for this trend.  One, of course, is that McDonald's has more control over the market than the individual consumer.  But government policy comes into play as well; in particular the Farm Bill and the subsidies that support different types of food production in vastly different amounts.  The Farm Bill provides billions of dollars in subsidies primarily to huge agribusinesses producing feed crops for animals, which, in turn is a subsidy for meat and dairy production.  Fruit and vegetable farmers on the other hand receive less than 1 percent of total government subsidies from the Farm Bill.

This and much more information on this disparity is nicely presented in an article from Good Medicine magazine, a publication of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  Also from the article:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your blog and this article in particular, just came across your stuff recently. Sorry to see no recent posts!