Thursday, April 29, 2010

King Corn and the State of a Nation (Abstract)

Examining the American food chain from soil to stomach revealed that federally subsidized corn plays a major role in the lives of nearly all Americans; and for the poorest of us, it literally means life and death. The Federal government spent $3.3 billion to subsidize corn growers in 2008. This subsidy virtually guarantees a nearly-endless supply of cheap, industrial-grade corn for corn processors that turn corn into High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Americans that consume HFCS in quantity (there is an inverse relationship between income and intake) are developing Type II diabetes at a rate of 1 in 3 for Americans born after 2000 (1 in 2 for low-income and minority populations). I was able to model this and show the cycle in action, with the government taxing final healthcare costs of diabetics at the corporate rate of 34%, tallying a return on investment of nearly 2000% for FY2008. Type II Diabetics spent $217B in 2008 on healthcare.

In short, the federal government is profiting by taxing the expenses of Type II Diabetics that originate as a result of overconsumption of corn as a cheap food staple that is subsidized by the government. The bottom line is that we are not supposed to eat the steady stream of ultra-processed sugars and starches that are present in industrialized foods, and the consequence is Type II Diabetes.