Monday, September 18, 2017

A Brief History of Food, Nutrition, and Government Policy in America

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Government intrusion is often obvious. We know when government taxes our income, stops us from using our drug of choice, or when they kick down our door and throw us in a cage. But sometimes, government actions are more subtle and confusing. It is often tempting to blame industry alone for the failures in the market and to ignore the substantial – but often less visible – role that government plays in regulating different markets. From the housing crisis and its relationship to banking, to healthcare and sky high costs, this tends to ring true. When it comes to food, nutrition, and its impact on health, blame is often allocated against the market by the uninformed individual.

The average person tends to vaguely understand the issue. They probably know a bit about farm subsidies, taxes, and the Food Pyramid. However, they most likely don’t understand the level at which government regulates our food. There is a long and storied history of government agriculture policy, import tariffs, food quotas, shoddy science guidelines, and regulation, all of which gets passed over for more obvious scapegoats such as the market and corporations.

  • Josh Souter holds a B.A. in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He currently lives in Denver and helps run the Denver Liberty On the Rocks chapter.