9 Shocking Facts About the Food Industry
The U.S. grows more corn than any other country on Earth. That’s a good thing, right? Well...depends on how you look at it. Modern farming techniques and massive government subsidies have turned corn into an incredibly productive - and incredibly cheap - crop. But those innocent-looking yellow ears are a big reason why the American diet has gotten worse and American waistlines have gotten larger over the past half century.
90 million acres of corn are produced each year in the U.S...
But less than 1 percent is sweet corn that people actually eat.
The rest is used as livestock feed or processed into common ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup, a low-cost sweetener. The result? Bad food has gotten cheaper, while healthy food has gotten more expensive.
Corn industry and cheap food
- 33%. How far the price of soda has gone down over the past 30 years.
- 40%. How far the price of fruit gone up over the past 30 years.
- $5 billion. How much the U.S. has pumped into the corn industry over the past decade.
- $1 buys you - 1.200 calories of potato chips, 875 calories of soda, 250 calories of vegetables, 170 calories of fruit.
Learn how to demand a better food system at takepart.com/food
SOURCES: National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, Time, Food Inc., Food & Water Watch, Humane Society of the United States, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
INFOGRAPHIC DESIGN BY COLUMN FIVE