If you want to finally understand the link between factory farming and Americans' worsening health, plus know why our agricultural system is so dependent on oil and is so polluting, read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, which is out in paperback in time for Christmas. After you read it you'll be perfectly prepped for the new documentary King Corn, which takes the veil off how our sick farm policies allow agribusiness to make big bucks selling us cheap corn, fatty, corn-fed beef, and processed foods. Finally you will be able to solve the mystery of why a Big Mac is cheaper than a salad, and maybe you, like millions of Americans, will begin to loudly question our farm policies.
"Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico."
Michael Pollan, "Weed it and Reap" NYT 11-04-07