Video: How the food industry is deceiving you
“In 2004, the late, great Peter Jennings pulled no punches with his insightful and hard-hitting five-part series How the Food Industry is Deceiving You. In it, Jennings took a critical look at how the rapid rise of obesity in America is directly connected to the unholy alliance between the food industry and our government. As just one of the many examples of underhanded dealings, Jennings points to agricultural subsidy programs and shows how the lion’s share of subsidy dollars go to produce sugars and fats. The exposé also highlights how, despite the insanely large amounts of money spent on marketing unhealthy foods (in 2002, the food industry spent $34 billion on marketing– $12 billion of which was aimed at children), the food industry still insists that the choice is yours, and that obesity is most likely tied to people’s unwillingness to exercise (Michael F. Jacobson stops in to disprove that myth).
The series ends with a very somber Jennings looking right into the camera, comparing the food industry today with the tobacco industry 30 years ago. He claimed that by publicizing the dangers of smoking, the government successfully reduced national smoking rates. The message hits hard—at the time of filming, Jennings was dying of smoking-induced lung cancer (he passed away in 2005). He then called for the government to step up and educate the public about healthy eating.
Today, nearly seven years after Jennings’ plea, there is still much to be done to divorce the partnership between Big Ag and Big Gov. The good news is that other journalists have followed in Jennings’ footsteps. In 2010, Katie Couric sat down with industrial food critics former FDA Commissioner Dr. David Kessler and Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser in her report Americans and Food, which took a compelling look at antibiotic abuse in industrial meat production, genetically modified organisms, high fructose corn syrup, growth hormones in dairy cows and more.” – Jennifer Bunnin