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Costs of your diet Choices we make as individuals define the lifestyle that we live Some of the associated costs of our lifestyle are a reflection of what we consume on a daily basis Today America is plagued with a lack of fundamental ethic surrounding food production and food consumption Our insatiable appetite for gluttony in the western world has become a way of life for us Alienation from the food system has blinded many people morally to the costs of their diet Diet plays an absolute role in our culture socially economically politically and environmentally Modern day agriculture has been transformed from what was once a practice of cultural subsistence into a business of industry Instead of agriculture behaving as a means for survival food has turned into a marketable force in our economy Profit motivated return prioritizes net productivity and optimal output of our agricultural systems Repercussions of such methodology encourage not only poorer health and obesity but a blatant disregard for ecologically sound land use practices in farming Taking the cheapest possible route as a means for production to maximize profit leaves consumer health as a secondary concern For example high quality peanut oil is removed from most commercial peanut butter and is then replaced with cheap hydrogenated vegetable oil in order to maximize profits Corporations then sell healthy peanut oil separately as name brand high quality cooking oil The corporate system has geared agriculture towards producing cheap food at the cost of community structure environmental stability economic viability and political integrity What we are eating and why In an average year the stereotypical American diet consist of 584 pounds of milk and dairy products 394 pounds of vegetables 199 pounds of meat 193 pounds of flour derived products and cereal and 121 pounds of fresh fruit See Fig 1 This being known it is obvious that there is little resemblance that can be made to the United
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