Nailing down America’s biggest food problems isn’t easy, but tackling these could go a long way toward protecting public health.
There’s no question that the food system in the United States, consolidated under a few big businesses and regulated by very industry-friendly government agencies, is broken. So trying to nail down the biggest food problems in the country isn’t easy. But two reports published just in time for Food Day, a holiday to educate consumers about where their food comes from that’s sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, have brought to light two problems that can easily be dubbed the worst of the worst—food-industry practices that favor profits over public health yet could be fixed, almost instantly, if we only had legislators who had the political will to stand up to corporate bullies.
Problem #1: Unhealthy Drugs
The problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has reached such critical mass that the typically reserved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called it a “nightmare” and said that we’ll soon reach a “post antibiotic era” wherein a simple scraped knee could prove fatal. The problem is that bad. And although not every antibiotic-resistant strain out there originated on factory farms, these massive industrial feedlots do fuel the problem by relying heavily on antibiotics to speed the animals’ growth and protect them from the filthy conditions in which they live, according to a new report from the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.