Food Critics… You Have the Wrong Man

Help me out here. I am confused. I just do not understand why food and health critics take aim at and blame  “modern agriculture” for America’s health problems. Food producers (a.k.a. Farmers and Ranchers) are not the ones who bought the Twinkies and put them in your mouth or made you decide to sit on the couch and pass on physical activity. Farmers and Ranchers are not the ones that caused heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and the whole laundry list of health conditions that plague Americans today.

I am far from an economist, but I do have a basic understanding of the “supply and demand” concept. Consumers demand salty, sweet, and fatty food and in turn food processors demand the raw products from farmers and ranchers to manufacture those foods. We would not produce the raw materials that make up that quarter-pound cheese burger with fries if there was not a market for that product. There would not be a market for that product if consumers did not demand it. Am I wrong?

So when you hear from food critics, watch documentaries (like Food Inc.), or read books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma that take aim at food producers, take a step back and ask who should really be to blame? Food Producers? No. Food Manufactures/Retailers? No. The real target should be the consumer. Consumers demand the market, producers supply the needs to satisfy that market. Now did I miss the definition of “supply and demand” or did I sleep too much in my Ag Microeconomics course?

Advertisements