CALPIRG on America’s Subsidies of Produce vs. Junk Food

September 22, 2011

A new report from CALPIRG says that between 1995 and 2010, the government spent $16.9 billion subsidizing corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, and soy oils. How much did they spend during this period to subsidize fruits and vegetables? $262 million. In other words, according to CALPIRG:

If these agricultural subsidies went directly to consumers to allow them to purchase food, each of America’s 144 million taxpayers would be given $7.36 to spend on junk food and 11 cents with which to buy apples each year – enough to buy 19 Twinkies but less than a quarter of one Red Delicious apple apiece.

Insane and indefensible. The other half of the picture—not addressed by CALPIRG—is that a lot of this subsidized corn also goes to feed farmed animals, who in turn provide some of the most unhealthful foods in the American diet. (Via LA Times.) Link.

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