Tom Vilsak

Don’t Tax Sugar; Stop Taking Bribes!

Dear politicians, stop trying to legislate morality.  You’re not qualified.

Health study after health study tells us that sugary drinks are one of the primary causes of childhood obesity.  There is no refuting this fact.  Recently, one study came out and suggested the only way to stop children from consuming so many sugary beverages is to put a tax on them so their parents can no longer afford them?

Would it work?  Most likely.  Is it right?  Not even close, in fact it is criminal.  For the record I am against virtually all taxes.  I’m tired of having people steal money from me to fund something I have no input over.  Besides, the problem is a lot more complex than “sugary drinks are too cheap.”

First off, the phrase “sugary drinks” is not at all accurate.  If soft drinks were sweetened with actual sugar there likely wouldn’t be an obesity epidemic in this country.  They are sweetened with High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a man-made sweetener developed by the chemical company Monsanto.  It is a chemical that is far more dangerous than alcohol or marijuana could ever hope to be.

So why is it legal?  One word: bribery lobbying.  Monsanto and their ilk throw enough money at our government to cure the budget deficit.  Why do they spend so much money on bribery lobbying?  Because they know their products are lethal.  Our politicians know these products are lethal too but they, whether Democrat or Republican, do not care.  Politicians only care about power and money.

From the lowliest mayor in the tiniest town all the way to the top our politicians are crooked.  They would gladly trade the lives of our children for a few extra green backs.  In fact they do it everyday.

So, politicians,  if you want soft drinks to cost more do not tax us for your transgressions.  How about paying the $7.5 billion in this year’s budget set aside for farm subsidies to the farmers they are intended for.  Currently this money only goes to farmers who produce untested genetically modified foods for big multi-national agricultural corporations.  In other words farm subsidies do not go to farmers, they go to Monsanto.

In effect what companies like Monsanto are doing is money laundering.  They take the $7.5 billion the US government gives them out of our paychecks and they hand it right back to individual politicians in the form of campaign contributions or bribes lobbyist gifts.  The politicians pocket that $7.5 billion.

So instead of strapping the American people with yet another tax how about canning the Monsanto moles the President has appointed to run the USDA and FDA (Tom Vilsak, Michael Taylor, Roger Beachy, et al).  Oh and maybe follow legitimate scientists recommendations of banning GM foods like HFCS at least until their effects have been studied.  Do this and soft drink manufacturers will have to go back to sweetening their beverages with actual sugar, while though still not great, it is far better than HFCS.  Not only will the price of soft drinks go up but child obesity go down.

Obamas Getting Tough On Obesity?

This week we learned, ”People who drank two or more soft drinks a week had an 87% increased risk — or nearly twice the risk — of pancreatic cancer compared to individuals consuming no soft drinks,” says Noel T. Mueller, MPH, lead research associate at the Cancer Control Program at Georgetown University Medical Center.  This from the recently published study in a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention?

The study was done to test a theory that high glycemic beverages like soft drinks and commercial grade fruit juices are a major contributor to pancreatic cancer.  The study found that commercial grade juices, though extremely high on the glycemic scale, do not effect pancreatic cancer risk.  So what could be the difference?

Oh yeah, juice contains a natural sugar.  Soft drinks contain a synthetic one, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).  Coincidence?

HFCS of course is the brainchild of one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, Monsanto.

This week we also learned that the Obama’s have announced a new child obesity initiative with cheflebrity Jamie Oliver, Let’s Move.  This would be exciting if it weren’t such an utter fraud.  While Oliver is genuine, Mrs. Obama made her announcement with USDA chief Tom Vilsak (legendary Monsanto lobbyist) and Surgeon General Regina Benjamin (a Burger King consultant) at her side.

Also standing with the first lady was Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, a career politician with absolutely no experience or training in social services or nutrition.  Ms. Sebelius has degrees in political science and public administration, the academic equivalents of basket weaving.

With a stroke of his mighty pen, President Obama signed an executive order that outlines the ever expanding federal government’s role in a problem that affects one-third of the school-age children in the country.  An issue that he claims as, “one of the most urgent health issues we face in this country,” with all of the sincerity of a fox offering to guard the hen house.

While proper exercise is another key factor in childhood obesity the chief cause is diet.  Between diet and exercise, diet is the most important.  If children enjoy a proper diet then the amount of exercise they receive in an average school day would suffice. But a diet of processed foods containing HFCS and hydrogenated oils requires much more exercise to negate the negative effects of that diet.

That’s why the Obama’s Let’s Move serves as little more than a diversion from the real issue.  The people the President has appointed to make the decisions about what is and is not healthy are not qualified to make these decisions.  People like Sebelius, Benjamin, Vilsak and many others do not base their policies on what is best for the country but what is best for their corporate masters.

If President Obama were genuine he would not have traded our children’s well-being for campaign contributions.  He likely did not chose his appointees because of careful examination of the facts but more likely to repay the people who financed the most expensive Presidential campaign in history. Clearly they where not chosen based on qualifications.  Holding a press conference vowing to end the obesity epidemic while surrounded by the very people championing the chemicals causing that epidemic is at best  hypocritical.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less

Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards

2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up

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