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Even More About F + B Industry


More Apple Lobbies! / Stock-Holders Love Beer-Holders / Fact Food's Whitewashing Tactics / The Blame Game (Personal vs Corporate Responsibility)


More Apple Lobbies!

In 2022 in the US, approximately $27.8 million (25.1M euros) was spent on food and beverage lobbying - the top three were Coca-Cola $4.5 million (4M euros), National Restaurant Association $2.9 million (2.6M euros), and McDonald 's $2.3 million (2M euros). In contrast, the fruit, vegetable, and nut lobbies spent a total of $3.4 million (3.1 M euros) combined. The Association of Mexican Tomato Growers are at the top of the produce list and spent 230K (207K euros). 


Another factoid: 2021 US government annual subsidies were approx $20 million (18.1M euros) for fruits and vegetables, and $38 billion (36B euros) for meat, dairy, and eggs. Wealthy and powerful food and beverage lobbies have too much influence on public health - from funding biased nutrition studies and school lunch programs to tax-payer subsidies and whitewashing harmful menus at fast food restaurants. Check out a revealing chart on US lobbying from Open Secrets. 

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Stake-Holders Love Beer-Holders

The WPF world tends to shy away from alcoholic beverages, especially in the US. In Europe and Asia, some benefits of alcohol are debated. There are religious ideologies which shun spirits, while others quote scriptures related to wine. I've found peace of mind by not drinking much at all. However, I sometimes cook with wine, I drink a light beer at a baseball game, I join a champagne toast at a celebration, and I drink a couple shots of potato-based vodka or hot sake from time to time, for both digestive purposes and for fun. Alcohol abstinence is quite a tough pill to swallow. 


What does the science say? Tiny amounts of alcohol might not be too harmful, while even moderate beer-wine-spirit consumption (more than one drink a week) increases the risk of cancer. Again, many WPF advocates listen to the clinical research and tend to stay clear of alcohol. Sorry for raining on the party parade. 

"When we eat CRAP, we're eating Completely Refined And Processed foods."

- Dr Daryl Gioffre, American Chiropractic Physician

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Fast Food's Whitewashing Tactics

Whitewashing is the practice of candy-coating information in order to hide another truth, which companies don't want the public to know too much about. Take McDonald's (among others), a company whose marketing department is perhaps the most effective in the world. Check out how a "smoke and mirrors" whitewashing approach is used in a 2023 commercial that explains how globally, "1 in 8 people have worked at McDonald's." The message is: See? We're the good guys, so stop exposing who we really are.


The Blame Game

(global health crisis VS corporate shareholders)

The idea of personal responsibility was pounded into my brain as a kid, and I listened. Smoking, eating junk food, and staying glued to electronic devices for hours are personal choices we can make every day. At the same time, companies that produce tobacco products, burgers and fries, and smart-phone technology are laser focused on creating the highest profit margins with the least amount of resources - the higher the better. How they accomplish this inspires countless films, documentaries, books, and articles. Too often, the reality is ugly. 


Both individual and corporate responsibility play in the same sandbox. Yet, one has distinct advantages: public policy influence, marketing manipulation, and financial  resources. This grossly imbalanced playing field is a classic David and Goliath story. 


Sadly, I've learned that we don't create our food addiction. Instead, Big Food and Beverage create bliss points with the perfect combo of salt-sugar-fat to make us addicted (this is real). Then, caregivers don't know any better and feed us junk. In my case, this was everyday. Nonetheless, I suppose I could understand this crisis as "that's just how the corporate system works" and making money for their shareholders is their number one, and some might argue only, priority. I understand that money alone isn't the cause of all the darkness in the world. Human choices are... 

Cookhouse Hero asks you to consider this: begin (or continue) taking your health, diet, and lifestyle choices into your own capable hands. The more we say a life-promoting NO and fearlessly speak truth to power, the less we'll be falsely influenced and manipulated. 



Just look at the failure of Got Milk? ads, the banning of trans-fat, the steady increase of plant-based companies due to consumer demand, and the quasi-fall of tobacco empires. When we keep asking Subway to bring back their whole-wheat flatbread, Chipotle to start selling whole-wheat tortillas, and hospitals to add plant-proteins and more fresh produce, money talks. The truth? We're responsible for what we put into our mouth. We're not responsible for being fed addictive junk as children, and thus becoming possible food/bev addicts. And most important: we're more powerful than we think. 

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