scapegoat of the food industry | Opinion News

You don’t have to search the internet for long to find criticism of the “food industry” that makes us fat and otherwise unhealthy. The assumption seems to be that a “good” food industry would result in a lean, athletic, and otherwise healthy population. Because this is formulated moralistically, it is attractive to many Christians.

But this whole view of reality seems problematic. Food shortages were all too common in most places until relatively recently. The Bible actually addresses the issue and tells us that it goes back to mankind’s first sin (Genesis 3). While various “lifestyle diseases” are a sad fact of modern life that we need to address, we really want to return to a time when starvation was a possibility and people were smaller due to the food supply (although the prevalence of childhood diseases was). also a problem)?

“The food industry” is a vague term that encompasses farming technology, refrigeration, and transportation, resulting in grocery stores being filled with food on shelves (at least under most presidents). That’s a blessing, not a curse. But it’s a blessing with challenges. To paraphrase what Uncle Ben Peter Parker (and future Spider-Man) said: With great wealth comes great responsibility.

And who is responsible? The Food Industry is not a central organization with a mission to feed people. It is not a charity or service. They are people who earn their living. It’s the market in terms of food. The only reason groceries show up on grocery store shelves or on is because people want it. People pay money for food they like to eat. If you can come up with something they want to eat, they will reward you. Consumers are literally as much a part of the food industry as producers are, because producers are very interested in what consumers are telling them about their demand. Consumers are powerful directors in the food industry.

There are small efforts that manufacturers might make to sustain a market after data has surfaced showing it’s dangerous, like some of the things that have happened to tobacco. But the fact remains, your grocery store shelves are a reflection of consumer demand and not the result of an MK Ultra operation to get people to get sick. The various product line suppliers that make up the food industry together have no knowledge of your height, weight, maintenance calorie count, or insulin sensitivity. All they can do is make the product as desirable as possible for the market segment. Each consumer is responsible for their own choices.

So it’s foolish to rail against “the food industry” for making food so tasty. Companies that make less palatable foods lose money to companies that make tastier foods. Restaurants that offer healthy options suffer or thrive by the same rule. consumers decide.

What about product lines and grocery chains that benefit from offering supposedly healthier fare? If there’s one source of “healthy” food you spend your money on, it’s “the food industry” as well as the manufacturers of sugary soft drinks or donuts. I bet if you interviewed the workers at such companies you would find that their intentions are not particularly godly, just as workers who ship boxes of sugary breakfast cereals do not do so out of demonic motives. They’re just making a living.

Demonizing the food industry is truly a property. It is an observation that the population has unhealthy diet and exercise habits, but with a deceptive pretext about who is in control. It’s true that cultural habits can seem entrenched and irresistible, an objective force that pushes us to conform. But that feeling doesn’t justify blaming market providers for what the market demands.

Changing your culture’s eating habits requires persuasion by leading by example and arguing with data. In the meantime, be glad that groceries are widely available at a relatively low price. This is a blessing from God.

Mark Horne has served as a pastor and has worked as a writer. He is the author of The Victory According to Mark: An Interpretation of the Second Gospel, why baptize babiesJRR Tolkienand Solomon says guidelines for young men. He is Executive Director of Logo Sapiens Communications and a writer for

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.