Ever notice that unhealthy foods are cheaper than healthy foods? You may think nothing of it, but our government policies and practices help lower the prices of unhealthful foods. Since the 1920s, American farmers have received government subsidies to help maximize production, reduce cost of raw materials, stabilize crop prices and keep the cost of food down for the American public, allowing farmers to stay in business. This originally well-intentioned government money has led to the overproduction of corn and soybeans and, consequently, lower prices for these crops and foods containing them as ingredients. This may seem harmless. Corn and soybeans are healthy, right?
In their natural states, these foods are not bad, but the outcome of the overproduction of these crops has led to their increased use in cheap, unhealthy foods found in processed foods on the grocery store aisles. For consumers, these less nutritious foods are cheaper, and particularly tempting to people living on a budget. These subsidies contribute to the obesity epidemic by making it cheaper to produce and purchase unhealthy, packaged foods.