Pushing Back Against the "Food Police"

There are tradeoffs that need be considered when it comes to decisions about food and food policies, whether it’s prioritizing “good” fats, local food or requiring different animal care procedures.

“We’re in the early stages of the arguments being made for greater control of our food system,” explains Dr. Jayson Lusk (@JaysonLusk). “The danger is people go to their local farmers markets, and say ‘everything should be this way,’ not understanding the magic of where all that food comes from. It’s an unintended consequence of subsidizing local foods or taxing ‘unhealthy’ foods.”

The Oklahoma State University agricultural economist and author recently spoke at the Grow Canada conference in Ottawa about pushing back against the idea that an elite group of individuals knows how everyone should eat — the so-called “Food Police” (also the topic of one of Lusk’s books.)

“I think a proper role for government is to help people understand and weigh those tradeoffs and risks, but ultimately I think we should let people have the freedom to choose,” he says. “Your optimal food choices are not going to be the same as mine.”

Shaun Haney sat down with Lusk at Grow Canada to talk about food, soda taxes, country-of-origin labeling, ag innovation, and meaningfully addressing the demands of consumers.

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