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Michael, I thought you might be interested that yesterday Gary Taubes was on midmorning with Carrie Miller. This is the same Minnesota Public Radio show that you were on just a few weeks ago. In the discussion, Carrie Miller brought up some of your critiques of Gary Taubes book. Gary then proceeded to makes some critiques of your work (funny he does this, since in the discussion he admits not even reading your book.) Anyhow, the link to the discussion is: http://www.publicradio.org/tools/media/player/news/midmorning/2008/03/04_midmorn2 --Gary Brever P.S.--I thought Gary Taubes' oversimplified his arguments of diet too much. For instance, I thought he discredited himself in his discussion when he says that there are no links between obesity and not exercising because he says, "after you exercise you feel hungry." There are more things happening in the body than getting hungry when you exercise that will help people from getting fat (such as reducing depression, energizing hormones, sparking the brain's activity--all which will assist people in getting more active and make better choices (including food choices).
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I would like to respond regarding the issue of lack and money as to why folks no longer eat well. I think mostly the issue is about priorities. Today, the average family spends only 10% of their total budget on groceries. 50 years ago, this was nearly double. Instead, the newest gadget and it's monthly service bill (such as an ipod, cellphone, cable, etc.) has taken priority in the budget over eating healthy. In addition, folks spend just as much going out to eat as they do on groceries. I am an organic vegetable farmer... (you can visit us online at www.ploughsharefarm.com) and part of my mission is to help consumers understand just how much time, energy, money, and RISK goes into providing good food. You may pay a bit more however the benefits of having REAL FOOD is definitely worth it!!! There is a real issue though regarding accessibility to fresh and quality food especially in the poor and urban areas that does have to be addressed. (I'm only 1/2 way thru Michael's new book-so perhaps he does address it there). Studies have shown that in low-income neighborhoods with few or no supermarkets, often referred to as food deserts, people shop in convenience stores and eat fewer fruits and vegetables, and were far more likely to eat poorly and suffer health consequences. Also, residents of low-income neighborhoods pay more for fruits and vegetables, often having lower quality than those shoppers in more affluent communities. It is one of the reason's that I, along with a nonprofit called the Emergency Foodshelf Network helped initiate a program call "Harvest for the Hungry" which connects small farmers like myself with families living in poverty. Additional information on the program can be found at.. http://www.emergencyfoodshelf.org/EventsAndNews/UpcomingEvents/EventsItem.aspx?pkID=191 I have been very outspoken against subsidies for farmers. Because it has been one of the leading reasons for the cheap calorie mentality of many Americans. However, one area I do see that the government could intervene is to assist low income consumers (and institutions such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes etc.) with vouchers to purchase from local and sustainable farms. --Gary Brever
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