Someone is stirring up class warfare -- and it's over food. Weeks ago Sarah Palin protested against Michelle Obama's Let's Move healthier foods initiative by handing out cupcakes at a school (except she did it at a private school, oops). She's made a few more jabs on her reality show.
Meanwhile, Glenn Beck mocked the First Lady at a rally, sneering, "Get away from my French fries, Mrs. Obama. First politician that comes up to me with a carrot stick, I've got a place for it. And it's not in my tummy."
The message I'm hearing is: Real America loves its fast food. I have the right to send my kid to school with Ho Hos and soda in his lunch. Only preachy eee-leets make food a moral issue, those smug upper-middle-class soccer moms in yoga pants stuffing their Priuses with organic kale from Whole Foods.
Why are these conservative pundits so defensive about protecting fast food? Have they seen the diabetes map?
Slate.com created a map that shows the rates of diabetes nationally over four years. Check out what's happening south of the Mason-Dixon line. Yikes, conservative-leaning South! Y'all are killin' yourselves.
And while you're shouting about the intrusiveness of government when the nation decides it's time federally funded schools stop serving kids total crap, how about them subsidies?
What's that? I didn't hear you.
I'm talking at least $56 billion in subsidies going to corn crops -- and not the kind of corn you can just steam and eat -- commodity corn that gets turned into all kinds of fast foods and processed foods, including Glenn Beck's precious French fries. So why aren't conservatives up in arms over this huge government expense?
But it's not just conservatives who are fueling the class warfare. Those white, upper-middle-class liberal eee-leets can be just as ignorant. I was telling a friend of mine about how crummy the grocery stores are in an un-fancy Brooklyn neighborhood and she said, "Oh, but those people don't really want healthy food anyway. I mean, there's not much demand, right?" And when I brought up improving school food to another white, UMC friend, she dismissed it as something the educated classes are imposing on the poor because poor people don't really care about healthy food.
Okay, maybe you're thinking I need to get some new friends. But the stark, painful truth is times are tough, healthy, pesticide-free food is expensive, people are getting sicker, and still, we would rather cheer on Palin's cupcake stunt than face our unjust food system.
Is eating fresh, healthy, pesticide-free food really something only rich liberals want? Are we going to keep arguing about big government and killing ourselves with obesity-related illnesses or are we ever going to get real about food, together?
Do you think our food system is at a crisis point?
Image via t-dubisme/Flickr