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Show 1202: How Can We Fix Our Broken Food System?

Industrial agriculture and its production of highly processed food is a broken food system that falls short of nourishing our communities. Can it be fixed?
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How Can We Fix Our Broken Food System?

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In our modern world, many people have become disconnected from the source of their food. Unlike our distant ancestors, who hunted and foraged for their meals, or even our great-grandparents who raised their food on farms, most folks now eat out of the supermarket. Following a diet full of highly processed foods can result poor health due to chronic disease. But that is not the only consequence of a broken food system.

Ecological Effects of Crop Subsidies:

When the government subsidizes crops that are used in processed foods, agricultural companies end up growing them. And we all end up eating them. Subsidies for corn produce a lot of very cheap high-fructose corn syrup that you’ll find in nearly every package in the grocery store. Fields with a single crop are less ecologically healthy than a much more diverse ecosystem would be.

Economic Consequences of our Current Food System:

Part of the reason that the current system is so distorted is that lobbyists have had a huge say in developing policy at both the state and the federal level. That’s how we end up with the pesticide glyphosate (RoundUp) in our children’s Cheerios. Now, with consumers objecting to such practices, the companies are beginning to realize that they will need to change. In fact, General Mills has taken steps to get glyphosate out of Cheerios. What other changes should we consumers be lobbying for? How can we fix our broken food system?

How the Food System Affects our Health:

Processed foods contribute to the struggles many people are facing with obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Hyman describes how one of his patients was able to quickly and dramatically change her treatment for type 2 diabetes simply by altering her diet. What did she do? How can we follow suit?

This Week’s Guests:

Dr. Mark Hyman is the founder and director of the UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of the Cleveland Clinic for Functional Medicine, and Board President for Clinical Affairs for the Institute for Functional Medicine. His previous books include: Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?; Eat Fat,Get Thin; and The Blood Sugar Solution. His most recent book is Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet – One Bite at a Time. His website is https://drhyman.com

Dr. Hyman’s photograph is copyright Nicole Franzen, 2019.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Best damn show I have ever heard on Peoples Pharmacy, and I have heard a lot of them. Calling out our system, money, govt. regulators, politicians, etc. Bless you, and I’m not religious. Will be donating to your show.

I like Dr. Mark Hyman very much. I wish he would talk more slowly for people who have trouble following fast talk. Thanks.

Great show with Dr. Hyman. Thank you, Dr. Hyman for trying to help educate our “law-makers” on the need to produce healthy food at the farm and in the factory. One big problem that I see is that in my state, families who receive money through the SNAP, EBT, Food Stamp program can purchase any food, from candy, chips, soda, to meats, fruits, etc. Food can also be purchased from the deli. Food can also be purchased at 7-Eleven type stores. Not only does this type of food waste their money, but promotes obesity and a host of other medical and behavorial problems.

This is one of the best ( pertinent and exceptionally well presented clear and critical information) of your podcasts, and I am an avid listener of this show as well as Dr Hymen’s.
I have an innovative and instrumental concept that would help spread this information exponentially. I am passionate about it and think about it all the time but it is a “big” idea (as I am told) whcih is a way of saying it would take too much time and money. I allow myself to think well, who do I think I am, I am not smart enough and I don’t have enough money ect….well this show has reminded me that it is my responsibility to move forward with this; who do I think I am NOT to get this idea out. Thank You Dr. Hyman for reminding me of the difference one person can make….must make.

Hello. Great show with Dr.Hyman. I was hoping Dr. Hyman would’ve touched on Quantum Field Agriculture, “Field Broadcasting,” as a way to farm without fertilizers. It also would eliminate pesticides/herbicides and the dreaded round-up glyphosate. This entire world environment would be changed forever if suppressed technologies were brought forth. This world has lost 100 years or more of progress. This I believe we all need and demand we unleash these new technologies.

I have an idea to fix the food system — stop subsidizing processed foods, and instead provide tax incentives to grow clean healthy organic / biodynamic / regenerative edibles without toxic chemicals! Otherwise we are just subsidizing our own addiction, undernourishment, suffering and death! Call this the Good Clean Food initiative! Now we need to get Hyman and other major “foodists” to get on board so we can have REALLY healthy people NOT dependent on government drugs.

When I grew up almost everyone had home gardens. Even a small one can produce lots of fresh nutritious food.

Great info for the uninformed.

I just scanned over this article for now. I read what poison CHEERIOS has in it. Appalling, the crap that is put into the “food” system in this country for greed & profit! I am throwing the new box I bought of CHEERIOS, OUT, NOW!! Where are the”checks & balances” for our “food”?

We should be eating good, healthy, REAL foods as some other CARING countries have for their people…in Europe, Israel, etc., they do not have not all the processed GARBAGE that is being shoved on the shelves! In this country people have no time to eat a healthy meal, too fast-paced, no time on the job to eat AWAY from their dirty desks & computers, as many do! DISGUSTING, SINFUL & SHAMEFUL! Greed & profit is their main concern, it certainly is NOT pride!

It’s not only the way the food is grown and harvested, but also the gases and solutions used to prepare produce for transportation and shelf life, e.g. packaged lettuce, slaws, chopped vegetables, as well as the fresh produce in bins. These practices raise multiple questions about the quality of the “fresh” fruits and vegetables we eat.

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