A week of infographics: Day 1

Given that everything is winding down before Christmas on Wednesday, I thought that I’d keep this week fairly simple by sharing an infographic a day. I have an irrational love of infographics myself, so this is a little bit of Christmas fun for me too.

Today is one from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Click to enbiggen!

While this is obviously a simplified representation of the state of America’s agriculture at the moment, I would argue that overall, it definitely holds true. Not enough of the fresh fruits and vegetables that we should be eating are grown locally (or even within the country), and too much supermarket space is given to calorie-dense, nutritionally devoid products from the corn and soy products that are destroying the fertile Mid West and putting small farmers out of business.

In which case: how short-sighted is the US Government? Yes, it may cost (a comparatively paltry) USD90 million to help to re-localise and diversify agriculture. But what price human health? How much is the government spending each year on (often) preventable diseases, particularly obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease? How many working days are lost to poor health? How many people need disability benefits because the food that the government supports has left them too ill to work?

Increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables grown locally, and reconnecting people with the farm is not going to be the whole solution to these problems, but it would definitely be a step in the right direction.

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