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Why Salads Are More Expensive Than Hamburgers

We’ve got a lot of problems when it comes to our food system, but one of them was clearly articulated with a simple graphic.

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Of course there are many factors to obesity, but surely tipping the scales in favor of some of the less healthy ones, doesn’t help. This same scenario is playing out in our schools across the country, too. In a recent story Jill Richardson did for AlterNet about the dismal state of our school lunch program, she writes that we’re basically giving kids the very things we say they shouldn’t be eating:

USDA commodities provided for school lunches turn the USDA’s own food pyramid on its head. Whereas the food pyramid recommends a diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, the USDA usually provides schools with meat and dairy products often high in saturated fat. Only 13 percent of commodities provided are fruits and vegetables (including fruit juice and legumes) — and about half of the vegetables provided are potatoes.

We’re already facing an diabetes epidemic where one in three people born after 1980 will get early-onset diabetes and one in two from minority communities. We need changes to our food system, big time, and right away. One of the best places to start is by flipping this food pyramid of subsidies on its head.

This post originally ran in AlterNet's SpeakEasy

Tara Lohan is a senior editor at AlterNet. You can follow her on Twitter @TaraLohan.

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