Healthier Happy Meal, Medical Marijuana & Fixing the Deficit

Healthier Happy Meal, Medical Marijuana & Fixing the Deficit

Healthier Happy Meal, Medical Marijuana & Fixing the Deficit plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

What is the best way to fix the federal deficit? Cut spending of course, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says that’s not all.

VILSACK: But you also have to continue making the investments that allows you to have growth in the economy that puts people back to work and in doing so generates additional revenue and the combination of additional revenue together with reduced spending is how you get yourself out of the fiscal mess we’ve put ourselves in.

McDonalds has bowed to pressure from, well, just about everyone and made a change in their iconic Happy Meal. Not a huge change but it is a step in the right direction. Now kids will get a smaller helping of french fries AND an fruit, not either or. Also the amount of sodium, calories and saturated fat has been decreased. It’s still not what most of us would call a healthy meal. A recent study by Yale University has found that none of the Happy Meal combinations meets nutritional standards but then come was never about the food was was about the toy inside!

"Prohibition does not work." That’s what Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had to say as he signed a bill regulating medical marijuana like any other business into law. The approach contrasts with several other cities in Washington that have imposed moratoriums on such operations.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Are federal farm subsidies making people fat? If you ask some scientists, nutritionists, and politicians you might hear the answer is a resounding yes. What you won’t hear is any specific data to uphold their belief that farm subsidies directly affects obesity rates. Once again the text book models are based primarily on conjecture. In reality, farm subsidies have had a minimal effect on the prices consumers pay for food and therefore little influence on what people eat. Even though farm commodities have been far more abundant and therefore less costly over the last several decades, that doesn’t reflect a direct impact of farm subsidies. What this does reflect is the simple fact that farming has become more productive due to modern technology. With the main objective being to fight obesity, should we then reign in any further advances in agriculture production? That would just show a lack of good sense. No, the challenge here is to find other ways to fight obesity without eliminating all farm subsidies; to perhaps instead create subsidies for fruit and vegetable growers as well so that the cost for these foods is comparatively lower.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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