Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A sad occasion

It's bad enough that we lost Steven Gilliard this week, now comes the devastating news of the death of a great benefactor of humanity, the inventor of Cheez Wiz and McDonald's french fries.

Just a reminder that this stuff doesn't appear in our alimentary canals through a force of nature. People in laboratories develop the products and the manufacturing processes, and smart kids with Ivy League degrees figure out ways to get us to buy it, and we do, and the companies make money. This happens because the sensory and neurological and hormonal mechanisms that trigger our eating behavior evolved while we were rooting around on the savanna for berries and tubers and chasing down the occasional grass fed antelope. A big blob of carbohydrate or fat or sugar gave our ancestors a big behavioral reward because they were always a few calories short.

Well, not any more. The wiring that enabled us to survive back then is killing us in the toxic food environment created by industrial capitalism. So, what does this suggest about the ideology of market fundamentalism, and specifically its claim that it produces "consumer sovereignty"?

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