Walmart Will Make Us Healthier? (!)

20 Jan

Today, Walmart (US) CEO Bill Simon was endorsed by First Lady Michelle Obama because of Walmart’s new plan to “encourage healthy eating, including cutting prices of fresh fruits and vegetables and working with suppliers to reduce the content of sugar, fat and sodium in the products on its shelves” (Parnes, 2011).

Since they supply 140 million shoppers with food, it would be logical for our government to endorse their plans to use their selling (and buying) power to change how people eat.  Right?

Sure, forcing suppliers to change their product will be good because that will force suppliers to change their methods of production which will increase food prices.  Sure, cutting prices on food being shipped thousands of miles from other countries will be a good business practice and encourage these farmers to continue to make a living by growing/raising healthy and nutritious food.  And look – consumers are absolutely positively DEMANDING healthier food – right?  That is why we are in the predicament we are in – people are demanding to eat healthier and healthy food is flying off the shelves as we speak!  Right?!?!

Obesity and other health-issues arising from food (basically every disease) has everything to do with the content of what that food is made of, and the nutrient density of that content. Nutrients are there or they are not.  Poisons are there or they are not.

The most fruitful and sustainable means for enhancing people’s food choices is by finding LOCAL PRODUCERS who can satisfy their demands for food.  Food that is grown locally is better because it is fresher and generally healthier.  Food that is grown locally does not have to travel thousands of miles, and therefore is better on the environment.  Beyond that, it just TASTES better.  Most importantly, local food supports local producers who are a party of the local economy – this is the best way to create a community and a prosperous economy.

I believe that Walmart is a forward-thinking, capitalistic enterprise that is reveling in its endorsement from the current administration.  I KNOW that it would be silly to think that they will have ANYTHING to do with the solution of better, healthier food for the American people.  THAT solution will actualy come from each of us begging the questions – “Who is my farmer?”, “Who is my rancher?”, and “How can I support my local community?”.  Government cannot save us from ourselves – only we know what is best for each of us (that is a little thing called liberty).  And Walmart will put its bottom-line before the health of their shoppers or the health of local economies.

Make your choices wisely.

– Tisha T. Casida

Reference:

Parnes, A. (2011). Walmart joins FLOTUS health push. Politico. Retrieved on January 20, 2011 from: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47904.html
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