This week I got a call from my Brother asking me if I saw the afternoon newscast and the story about farm subsidies and Twinkies? I had not but I was obviously curious so I went online to the TV station’s website and searched for this particular story. Here is the jest of it.
The Ohio Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG conducted a study that stated that farm subsidy dollars are making our kids fat instead of growing healthy, nutritious food.
“Apples to Twinkies” (keep that study title in mind) claimed that big farm is turning subsidized crops like corn into processed ingredients found in foods like Twinkies.
The report goes on to say that huge portions of America’s corn crop becomes high fructose corn syrup. Of the 37 ingredients in Twinkies, for example, 14 of them are made with Federal subsidies. Their suggestion is that fruit crops, like apples, should get more in subsidies than they do now to create a healthier diet for our kids.
First of all, Ohio PIRG, high fructose corn syrup is now referred to as corn sugar. Why? Because whether we consume raw sugar, corn sugar or any other sugar our body reacts to it in the same exact way. Back when corn sugar was created, it was simply a less expensive way to sweeten foods that we endulge in.
That gave me the idea to compare apples to Twinkies, just as Ohio PIRG’s study suggested, by sugar. A Twinkie has 19 grams of sugar. Coinsidentally, a medium-sized apple (about 3 inches in diameter) ALSO has 19 grams of sugar. Now I am by no means saying that a Twinkie is just as healthy as an apple. My point is that if you are saying that the sugar in a Twinkie is the issue, the last thing you should compare it to is an apple.
Secondly, if your sticky spot in this sweet mess is the Farm Bill, you must realize that 75% of the Farm Bill is all about childhood nutrition. USDA oversees the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and the National School Lunch Program. 75% of the Farm Bill is to make sure that EVERY CHILD has access to the healthiest foods, which by the way is produced by hard working American farmers that have the task of keeping up with millions of growing kids’ appetites.
Third, 100% of parents can choose what their children eat. You can’t even begin to blame the corn producer for making a product that Hostess uses to sell am item that has made them Billions of dollars. As a parent, I will admit that I enjoy a Twinkie even now and then and every once in a while I will let my kids enjoy one too. If I let my kids have 4 a day I would love to blame someone else for their obesity and my lack of parenting skills, but that simply doesn’t make sense.
Lastly, the corn industry has done so much more than produce one of the 37 ingredients in a Twinkie. Corn producers feed livestock, so enjoy that steak. If you think the price of gas is high now? Without ethanol, derived from corn, the price would be much harder to swallow. Corn is a part of your instant tea and coffee and more than likely the paper cup your drinking it from. Corn Flakes, corn meal, corn starch, corn chips…all from corn. Been to a cookout lately? Mustard, Mayo, Ketchup, soft drinks, adult beverages and even the fireworks on the 4th are all products corn has a hand in. Not to mention the aspirin I needed after I read this rediculous story.
If you’ve enjoyed a great meal today, Thank A Farmer. If your child ate a Twinkie instead of an apple today, don’t blame one.