Dear Future President,
Hello, my name is Madison Walker and I am a senior at Clarkston High School in Clarkston, Michigan. At the executive level, I believe that some of the most pressing issues in America are often overlooked or even ignored. As a country, we tend to focus our energy on debating tax laws, gun control and immigration, while failing to address the severe health problems affecting the population. I can appreciate the recent reforms in health care that make treatment more affordable, but why aren’t we focusing more on prevention? Government and hospitals decide to get involved when the damage has already been done. It seems to me that America is putting the economy and health care jobs before the general health of the American people. I understand that doctors and medicine companies rely on the presence of illness for profit, but is the money really worth it? I firmly believe that health comes before everything; no American’s wellbeing should be sacrificed to support the economy. Should the government decide to prioritize the health of Americans, tighter restrictions on the food industry would be a great place to start. Food companies are permitted to use highly dangerous treatments and chemicals in food without addressing the risks to the consumer. Americans who are uneducated of health risks present in their diet will continue to be manipulated into financially supporting the problematic industry.
Much of the ingredients in food today are simply inedible and entirely unsafe for a human body to consume. Even food that may seem safe and healthy will typically contain some ingredients of concern. By simply eating Mac and Cheese, you are ingesting Azodicarbonamide and yellow dyes produced from coal tar. This is especially concerning because Mac and Cheese is popular among children. Obviously, it isn’t the child’s responsibility to know what ingredients are in their food, and the majority of parents today fail to do their research before feeding their kids. How can we hope for healthier generations in the future if we contaminate children’s bodies from such an early age? In some schools, health class is an elective, which means many children are not exposed to what goes into their body and how it is digested. Having a class that outlines the risks of poor eating habits is essential for children so they can develop good eating habits for the future. If the food industry continues to poison America, the least the government can do is educate the rising generations so they don’t make the same eating choices.
In addition, the overwhelming presence of GMOs in food today is also very disappointing, not only for humans but also for animals. Chickens are genetically modified to enlarge their breasts to enhance the market on chicken breast, but at what cost? Chickens are unable to move and end up stumbling with every step because they are so unbalanced with the excess amount of weight in their breast. The fact that the government knows about these techniques and does nothing to stop them is appalling. Innocent animals are being bred only to face a devastating fate. As for the impact on humans, GMOs are engineered to strip the organism of nutrients a human body needs and replacing it with ingredients the human body craves. Many people are inclined to buy genetically modified food because it is engineered to taste better, however, consuming the ingredients in GMOs causes a wide range of health issues. In addition, the genetic modification allows for the food to be produced in larger quantities, lowering the price of GMOs so they are even more attractive to the consumer.
The impacts of the use of GMOs and harmful ingredients in food are devastating. A developed country such as the U.S. should not be having health issues to the extent that we are today. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over two-thirds of adults are considered obese or overweight and about one-third of adolescents are considered obese or overweight. In the late 1900s, there was a crisis of people dying from cancer, and doctors set out to find treatments. Since then, the healthcare industry has been so focused on finding “the cure to cancer” because selling a treatment would create massive amounts of profit. Why don’t we focus on preventing cancer so families don’t have to endure the devastation in the first place? I truly believe that if the whole country attempted to change their diet to meet their dietary needs, the amount of cancer cases would significantly drop. I hope that one day the food industry focuses more on feeding Americans rather than doing business with them. The food industry’s tunnel-vision focus on financial profit allows them to use unethical practices to lure Americans into purchasing their dangerous food. Most people are not educated of this problem and do not realize that they are just a part of the food industry’s viscous game. If the government refuses to place stricter laws on the food industry, our nation has reached a devastating state of immorality.
Thank you for your consideration,
Overweight and Obesity Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2016, from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/overweight-obesity-statistics.aspx
Kraft: Stop Using Dangerous Food Dyes in Our Mac & Cheese. Retrieved October 28, 2016, from http://www.change.org/p/kraft-stop-using-dangerous-food-dyes-in-our-mac-cheese