I think of Asheville as being a healthy city with people eating well and getting their exercise. Sounds like that isn’t the case if our obesity levels are shockingly high as stated by Ms. [Kate] Lundquist [“Fat City: Looking for Solutions to Asheville’s Obesity Problem,” May 4, Xpress].
We can blame poverty, lack of nutritional education and kids needing to try healthier foods. But the big (really big) problem is with the $38 billion that our federal government spends yearly to subsidize the meat and dairy industries. (Sadly, it spends 0.04 percent of that amount to subsidize fruit and vegetable growers.)
[In the article], Dr. Robert Swoap, professor at Warren Wilson College, bemoans the fact that cheap food makes us fat. Fast food is cheap because it’s subsidized by the Department of Agriculture. If the real cost of cheap food reflected the damage it causes to human health and environment, it would be at least eight times more. That is not to mention the inherent violence in animal raising and slaughter that no one can begin to calculate.
If we substituted more lentils, kale and almond milk for nuggets and shakes, we’d soon become “Fit” City instead of Fat City.
— Zia Terhune