With Halloween quickly approaching, I thought I would share 10 scary things about how we eat in America. Who needs ghosts, ghouls and monsters for a fright when you have these statistics?
1. More than 1 billion tons of pesticide products are used each year in the United States alone, many of which are directly sprayed on our food. Pesticides have been linked to a variety of cancers and higher rates of birth defects.
2. Americans spend more than $100 billion on fast food each year.
3. The average teenage boy in the U.S. gets 10 percent of his daily calories from soda.
4. We now have more than double the rate of obesity in American children compared to the 1970s.
5. Obesity increased in 16 states last year and didn’t decrease in any state.
6. Another 2.6 million people fell below the poverty level last year. This often directly affects their ability to buy healthy food.
7. American children get about one quarter of their total vegetable servings in the form of potato chips and French fries.
8. We consume an average of 156 pounds of sugar every year.
9. Up to 10 billion donuts are consumed each year in the U.S. alone.
10. Genetically modified foods are found in up to 80 percent of our packaged foods in the U.S. A Russian study concluded that after three generations of eating GM feed, hamsters lost their ability to reproduce and some even had a rare disorder of hair growing in their mouths. I find that disturbing.
Let's work towards better stats in the coming year with lower pesticide use, lower obesity rates, less dependence on fast foods and sugary foods, and better labeling for GMOs in our food supply.