The frightening thing here, from my prospective, is the fact that there is so much of this that Kristof gets right — only to then tumble down the “fat is evil” rabbit hole. I can easily see a “fat tax” imposed, in the very near future, on suspect foodstuffs that the “informed government” will use as a carrot/stick (depending upon your point of view, I suppose) to wean us from the plethora of “unhealthy” foods. This tax would then be used, I’m guessing, to help support/promote the more “healthy” grain-based alternatives.
I am a realist, and I understand the necessity of providing subsidies to farmers and ranchers in an attempt to promote a more stable food supply and consistent pricing of that food supply. I think, though, that the program should be limited in reach, and restructured in such a way as to promote the locally-grown, food co-op idea, such as my own food co-op, here in Greenville, NC. In this way, consumers will be able to “promote with their dollars” that type of foodstuff they desire, and are willing to pay for instead of the government making that choice for the masses.
No matter how in-vogue (and fun, I’ll have to admit) it may be, however, to bash on the government, it is really the actions of the collective citizenry that will turn the tides here. Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in the “collective citizenry” on this issue. For the vast majority at least, it seems as if health, fitness and diet (and independent research in these areas of concern) is just not worth their time. We are living collectively (and “paying” via ever-increasing health care premiums) with the ramifications of such apathy now. One thing I’ve never suffered well is willful ignorance; being forced to financially support the ramifications of another’s willful ignorance is enough to push me over the edge.