Let's Boycott Our Processed Food Nation

A few days ago, I was explaining my nutritarian diet to an acquaintance when he made a remark about the apparently dreadful sounding blandness of my diet. “You just eat plants? What?! You poor dear. That must be horrible, honey.” Boy did this get me frustrated! Putting aside the fact that I think the foods I eat taste divine, his comment got me thinking, what’s really sad here is our nation of over-processed eaters whom have become so far removed from the taste of real foods. The reality at the heart of his comment was that most people have now been conditioned to only enjoy the taste of heavily salted or overly sweetened processed foods.

Strawberries. Flickr: clairity

While this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Americans are obsessed with the flavors of packaged foods and we are now eating 31 percent more packaged food than fresh, and we consume more processed foods per person than the individuals of any other country. We certainly do love our TV dinners, chips, sweet and salty snacks and ready-to-eat meals.  My theory is that if we have to tear open a bag, unwrap plastic or open a box, people will assume the food will be tasty.

I recently read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which is a sobering account of how far off the deep end we’ve become as a nation of processed food loving peoples.  I’m sure any reader will agree with me that a meal of fresh tropical mango and papaya salad with thinly-sliced raw greens and coconut-lime dressing is just not going to maintain its natural flavors (or even stay fresh), if it were shipped from California to Connecticut and then had to stay on the shelf in a grocery store for a few more days after that. While French fries might not be as prone to perish as a tropical mango and papaya salad, those little fritters just aren’t going to maintain their natural freshness or flavors of the original potato either.  In reality, almost all of the foods we buy in packages contain artificial flavors produced by food scientists in white lab coats in factories in northern New Jersey.  I learned this and infinitely more in Fast Food Nation, and besides being a huge walking and writing advertisement for the book, my point is that our bodies haven’t evolved to eat this artificial processed junk yet and until we do, we need to begin evaluating where our food comes from and what ingredients are added to them.

So, not only do I love the natural, unprocessed foods that I cook for myself, I know there won’t be any of the ingredients that go into producing the artificial flavorings of a Burger King strawberry milkshake, such as amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, anethol, butyric acid, hydroxyphrenyl-2-butanone, methyl benzoate, or other obscure most of us have never heard of.  Mind you, there are no real strawberries added to processed strawberries flavorings like this one. As my dad likes to say, our taste buds are adaptable and it takes time to adjust to the subtler flavors of natural plant foods.  Once going nutritarian for even just a few weeks, taste buds can change and fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds become more desirable. My mouth waters at the thought of a fresh kale salad with lemon-tahini dressing, a Portobello mushroom burger or chocolate cherry “ice cream” made from bananas and almond milk.  I love the taste of the foods I eat, I love that I’m not consuming any ethyl methylphenylglyci-date (an actual chemical used as an ingredient in many artificial flavors), and most importantly, I love being healthy.  So who’s with me on a quest to avoid processed foods for good? For all of you already healthy eaters, how do you feel when someone thinks your diet is absolutely tasteless and you know it can be knock-your-socks-off delicious? As our obesity epidemic and disease riddled society continues to flourish, we are going to have to say no to those processed packages and hello to the new age of unprocessed, nutrient-rich plant foods.   

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Comments (37) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Tessa Hill - May 1, 2012 9:20 AM

We're with you, Dr. Fuhrman!! We'll bypass those packaged foods and eat fresh! Thanks for all you do to encourage us toward better health.

Suzanne Goldberg - May 1, 2012 9:27 AM

I can't even type those chemical names much less eat them! The boxes and bags in my pantry contain quinoa, black rice and dried beans. I feel so much healthier knowing I don't eat processed foods.

Izzy - May 1, 2012 9:40 AM

You make sense to me. I made tons of yummy smoothies and juices with berries, fruits, and plants. And they are totally delicious! :D

Carol Whitaker - May 1, 2012 10:06 AM

For decades I ate highly processed foods, junk foods, highly salted, fatty foods and yes, it tasted good when I ate it but I paid a heavy price... literally....240lbs + at one point, and I had all the other typical side effects of a bad diet. Back then I never in a million years would have dreamed of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet. But now I'm here to tell you it CAN be done. It requires a conscious choice and committment to make the change and recalibrate the taste buds. It wasn't easy at times, but now that I'm a nutritarian I can tell you everything I eat is DELICIOUS. I no longer have weight issues and I feel like a million bucks ALL THE TIME! I'm NEVER going back.

Hadley Gustin - May 1, 2012 11:08 AM

Could not agree more! As an alkalarian raw foodist, you are preaching to the choir, and I hope millions upon millions read this and take your message to heart, Talia!

Brian Ellwood - May 1, 2012 11:09 AM

Great article..it's an often overlooked fact that the taste buds are indeed adaptable...If more understood this then they'd be more likely to try the foods that, deep down, they know they should be eating.

Jane Skreslet - May 1, 2012 11:29 AM

It is true that our taste buds quickly adapt to tasting the deliciousness of natural foods when you cut down on the salt and sugar. Plus when you do cut down, you can never go back, because it just tastes so bad.

Tracy - May 1, 2012 11:34 AM

I agree Tanya, people are so used to salts, fats, sugars & chemicals that fresh foods seem foreign to them. Thanks to your husband's eating plan I've lost over 120lbs and the more I educate myself the more turned off I am from any processed foods. I'm actually taking it a step further and have headed into organic raw, at least 85% anyway since all my symptoms from lupus, fibromyalgia & thyroid issues all vanish when I eat plant based. I don't miss unhealthy foods because I know they cause my life pain whether it be physical, mental or social. Go colored foods!! Thanks Tanya!

Nora Manwiller - May 1, 2012 11:42 AM

Yes, I feel frustrated when I explain my diet to someone as a way of helping them overcome their chronic or acute health problem and they respond by saying something like, "Oh that would never work for me (my family) because we like to eat food that tastes good/ has flavor/ etc.
sigh.

Per Haug - May 1, 2012 12:21 PM

If someone comments on my food of choice "being tasteless," I could honestly not care less, because I know why I do what I do. I have made my choice years ago, being as healthy as I can, and after The China Study, what is there to discuss?

When you put money in an interest account, do you choose the bank with the lowest interest rate? No! You choose the one with the highest, because you take action on your and your family┬┤s interests: a healthy economy.

When you read a book, does it matter what it contains? Or do you just read to read? The letters are the same in all books. Only their order differ. I will guess that it matters. You read because the content interests you. It will give exitement, entertainment and/or knowledge that you seek for as long as the book lasts and beyond. If your choice of books are the greats in literature, your gain is a high quality experience.

Yet, when it comes to food and drink, garbage rules. Suddenly, the quality you sought for interest rates and books are gone. In my family, it ended in tragedy.

My mother died April 24 2012, after suffering from three strokes. From the age of 17, I used to lecture her about the dangers of sugars and fats, putting layers upon layers on the inside of her blood vessels, until completely blocked, creating a stroke or heart attack, depending on the place of the clog. She was always interested and accepting of the facts, but her sweet tooth always gave in to the sweets. My mother did not have had to die. This also goes for the rest of us.

I now know, that although I am her son, I cannot have such clogs, therefore I can never ever have strokes and/or heart attacks, because there will be nothing in my blood capable of producing clogs. Knowing that I am clean inside and out and that vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals will see to it that I will stay as healthy as I can be, enjoy life at its fullest and longest, makes me proud of the choice I have made being a plant eater. I do not need to defend it to anyone. I look so much forward to the greens with berry- and fruit dressing that that I would not part from it for anything.

Patricia Nutritia in NH - May 1, 2012 12:37 PM

Well stated, Talia! for decades, I've been experiencing toxic hunger pangs, and just eating more to soothe them. I often asked myself, "what basic, natural food is this processed food mimicking, and how can I de-construct that processed food?" An example: Ice cream, and flavored, sugared yogurt. I was addicted, until I viewed "Three Steps to Incredible Health" on PBS, and began eating G.O.M.B.B.S. immediately. I replaced the crap and the large meat and dairy servings with veggies and beans and fruit, and my sense of comfort has increased, while my weight decreased, 30 pounds worth! And, I decided that ripe peeled half-bananas, frozen, are not only a good substitute for those dairy creamy treats, but frozen bananas solved my ongoing quest for the best tasting frozen treat! They're fantastic! Adding a little almond milk and frozen strawberries to the frozen bananas, whirling these for a minute, in my small Ninja blender bowl makes a heavenly sorbet, too! Keep doing what you're doing, all you Fuhrmans! Thank you so much!

Ellie H - May 1, 2012 12:54 PM

Yes! total boycott would be good! I do notice that things creep into my freezer so I now routinely go through my freezer/fridge & pantry and toss anything that has ingredients that I cannot pronounce or things that I do not know what they are. I recently did this and noticed that most things in my pantry/freezer now have fewer than 5 ingredients...and those ingredients are FOOD! SAD is insidious, especially when life gets busy. I just have to maintain a few go-to pantry items that I can grab to whip up something to eat in 5 mins so I don't resort to 'quick' processed foods when I get pressed for time.

caroline israel - May 1, 2012 1:21 PM

Great article. And anybody who knows me will attest to my love of food--nutritarian food!I am absolutely certain that nobody enjoys their McDonald's cheese burger more than I relish my daily salad. We definitely need to get out the message that taste is learned.

Kelly - May 1, 2012 1:26 PM

It really is true. Before I became a full-fledged nutritarian, I thought, "What will I eat if I don't have cheese, bread, or meat?" It took awhile to collect recipes and learn a new way of cooking and preparing food but I LOVE the foods I eat. And I eat probably twice as much as I did before but have gained zero weight and am at my ideal weight now.

Kimmi - May 1, 2012 1:28 PM

It only took me a few weeks of eating real food to begin noticing the odd tastes of those artificial flavors. Now things like individually wrapped pastries don't even taste like food to me anymore, and I used to really enjoy eating them.

Now nothing beats fresh fruit and greens! We picked some mint from the backyard the other day to make a mint lemonade and the smell infused the kitchen almost instantly... such a treat! When asked what my favorite food is, I usually surprise people when I say mango or young coconut.

As your body adjusts, simple foods even by themselves become so appealing and delicious, I'm still taken back sometimes when I bite into a perfectly ripened mango. Yum!

theresa - May 1, 2012 1:32 PM

You're right. It is a mindset. I am a nutritarian and am really a stickler about feeding my 2and5year old right. My husband who is a physician mind you, juices, and eats a lot of my meals but sabotages me quits a bit in front of the kids. He says thing like " it's ok to have a burger every once in a while or some bacon, and things like " don't force this on the kids, it's. Natural for them to want fats and sweets, this diet is anti evolutionary, look at me I turned out fine, and in the same breath., I didn't have access to processed foods growing up and then once I did I went nuts eating a dozen doughnuts in a sitting..." You get the idea. Kids hear it and buck. Other times I get them to eat well and then we go out shopping and they follow my husband around to all thefree samples like its their job. Its embarrassing and at the same time sends so many wrong messages to our kids. Bottom line is the mentality is everywhere despite education level. Of course after he eats a load of crap he complains he feels sick, juices and detoxes and then does it again.
Because of this his weight is stable. Kids dont juice though or detox. He figures my good meals covers
them. We really need to change our relationship with food culturally. He says that living in a bubble and being different will hurt the kids, but they have not and wont have fast food for as long as i can control it. They don't know what a happy meal is. It shouldn't have to be such a daily battle with preschoolers though.

Suzy - May 1, 2012 3:00 PM

I am sad that (if we don't already) we will soon have a generation of kids that won't remember the days before fast food was the most commonly consumed food, and when home-cooked meals were the norm, let alone home-grown ones!

Talia - May 1, 2012 6:35 PM

Thanks for all the great comments! Just to clarify, I am Dr. Fuhrman's daughter (not his wife) and am finishing up my degree in nutritional science at Cornell University.

~Talia

Gerry - May 1, 2012 7:31 PM

Thanks for your posting Talia!

It is indeed frustrating, especially when one is trying to explain the solution to a problem that others have been complaining about, like their weight, their chronic diseases and so on...to get a response like you mention.

At such times I am reminded of, and take comfort in two Proverbs written by a man who was given supernatural wisdom to understand the human heart and life, Solomon.

The first is this: "Fools dispise wisdom and instruction." This is not condescending, it is simply a statement of fact, for we are all born fools by nature, and indeed I was one for many years, eating like a pig until I found Dr. Fuhrman's website and Eat to Live. Indeed, I would still be one were it not for daily grace given me to embrace and practice the truth.

The second is this: "He who corrects a fool heaps dishonor on himself." This is very interesting, because it puts the onus on me to be discerning about who I tell about the benefits of Eat to Live, and also takes the pressure off me for being so. Basically, I take it this way.

If someone seems to really want to know, then I share some information with them and see how they respond. Most people are complaining just for the sake of doing so and have no interest in changing the things that do, or will, cause them difficulty. I therefore "heap dishonor on myself" when I don't discern this and waste my time sharing information with such "fools", who haven't seen the light yet.

In time, they may, but until then, I have plenty to occupy my time. I'm always willing to share with those who really want to know, but much too busy to waste it on those who don't, and discerning about which are which.

Carrie - May 1, 2012 8:41 PM

Talia, I'm with you, too. I have no doubt that I will be vegan and nutritarian for life, because I LOVE my food. I enjoy food way more than I did when I ate junk. I find it SO frustrating when people think that I am "not living" because I eschew so many of the foods they love (and that they assume I feel deprived for not having). Quite the contrary: my best day now is better than my worst day before. I feel sad that they won't even try it and see for themselves how their tastes can change. (Oh, and by the way, my cholesterol is down almost 100 points and is now ideal!)

Sharon - May 1, 2012 11:24 PM

Sometimes someone will mention that I am depriving myself (by not eating the garbage most people eat). I answer, "You're right..I'm depriving myself of cancer, heart disease and a host of other illnesses".

Victoria - May 2, 2012 12:51 AM

I spoke to a diabetic patient today,(I'm a nurse) and suggested that he try eating healthy snacks instead of the junk food that raises his blood sugar. His response: No way! I can't stand those "healthy" granola bars! I had to explain I meant nuts, apples etc: real food. People don't even know what healthy food is anymore.
I am so frustrated with physicians who tell their patients that they're doing fine, their blood sugar is well controlled .. meanwhile the patient is taking 3 diabetic pills and their glucose is still 130! What's wrong with these doctors!

Gail - May 2, 2012 8:01 AM

Too many people project their issues with eating onto us. And they prefer to cut down people who are healthy, rather than be encouraging. When was the last time someone told an overweight person not to get any fatter? I frequently hear "don't get any thinner", from overweight acquaintances. As if they have any concern for my health, which is excellent by the way, thanks to God and a nutritarian lifestyle. Keep on truckin, all you healthy eaters!

MarieElena - May 2, 2012 10:33 AM

Like you said their taste buds are so used to processed foods they don't even like real food anymore. My husband and I had always complained that food didn't taste the way it used to. Now I know why! It isn't grown the way it used to be grown. We get so spoiled from our organic apples when in season that during the winter when we are forced to buy some from the regular grocery store (we can't get organic here) they just don't taste the same. Ever notice when you eat tomatoes out of your own garden how much better they taste than store-bought ones? That is what's wrong with people like this man, he is used to his food being flavored artificially and doesn't know the taste of real food that our Creator made. I feel so sad for people like him. But it is his choice.

MarieElena - May 2, 2012 10:50 AM

I am not bragging here but I had a friend who because of my knowledge in nutrition asked that I speak to a group of our friends about some health concerns. Well I told her I am not a doctor and I am not going to diagnose for anyone. I will rely the information I know and what they do with it is up to them. That is all. I did sit and talk with them about their health concerns and told them the main thing was to change their diets. OH NO! GIVE UP COFFEE! I CAN'T DO THAT! was most of the replies. I felt maybe someday someone would decided to take it to heart and change a little. But one woman came to me a couple of months later and asked me again, "What do you think I could do to feel better?" I said change your diet. "You mean give up my Starbucks and no more sugar right?" I said right! "I can't do that." I said well when you get sick enough you will. That is how most people are but some will stick to their junk food diets until they die. Some people can't change their spots.

theresa - May 2, 2012 12:32 PM

@ Talia
would love to see an article about growing up nutritarian! Seems to have worked our got you (smile). Thanks tor clarifying you are Dr fuhrman's daughter!!! Just the added ammunition I need. Ha! You made my day! Good luck girl!

Suzanne - May 2, 2012 12:54 PM

Until people recognize that they are ADDICTED to salt and sugar and food additives they will always let themselves "cheat". The idea that sticks with me the most against the theory of allowing yourself a "treat" is that you wouldn't tell a recovering crack addict that they could have some crack on Sundays as a treat! We started the Eat to Live plan 2 months ago. I grew up eating healthy but my husband did not. It has been really, really difficult for him to transition to what he also calls "bland" foods. One thing I learned recently is that because his sinuses were constantly so inflammed from his bad diet he was over-salting because he couldn't taste foods. Gradually it is becoming less of a challenge for him mentally as he begins to be able to taste foods. We now crave our salads and smoothies and feel bad on the days we skip them. The plus side is that we reduced his blood pressure by 20 points in two weeks and got him off a statin drug that was making him ill. No Doctor EVER told him he could heal himself with food - which makes me very angry. We are still in the early stages of learning how to prepare meals that taste good too, it's a challenge but I am not giving up! We have more drugs to get him off of. I don't actively try to convert people but have made two converts in my sphere of influence and those were people wanting to know how we had gotten his blood pressure down. The rest have not suffered enough yet I guess to really want to LIVE! To the person above who is feeding your kids healthy despite your husbands weakness - don't give up! We are not living in a bubble...we are the ones getting out of the fast-food/processed food bubble back into the "real" world!

kim - May 2, 2012 1:05 PM

To Theresa...It's a shame your husband is not onboard fully w/nutritarianism. As a doctor, he could have such a positive impact on his patients. I envision a world where being a nutritarian is the norm. If more people were informed & converted, your children would be the majority, not the kids in a bubble. Keep working on him & thanks for the effort you put toward raising your children the most healthy way possible.

To Talia...you are so lucky to have been raised by nutritarian parents. I'm happy that you're following in their footsteps. Keep up the great work!

My husband & I have been following Dr. Fuhrman's nutrition advice for 2 years & I tell everyone I know that he is our superhero. We would love to see him (or you) team w/Michelle O'Bama to spread nutrition knowledge & nutritarian influence around the world.

We join your boycott!!!! Give me fruit or give me death!!!!!!!

Nancy - May 2, 2012 2:05 PM

Great article and postings. I am a nurse and work in a major cancer center. It is sad to see that most doctors here who treat cancer patients are not interested in the diets of their patients, or their own diet for that matter.

I enjoy Dr. Fuhrman's ETL website and the daily recipies that I receive via emails. This lifestyle requires a lot of work and planning even with the great recipes on the website. But, it's worth it!

Gerry, I especially appreciated your post. I, too, try to discern with whom I share my nutritarian lifestyle.

Thanks for sharing, Talia.

themoo - May 2, 2012 9:22 PM

Talia
Great article! My wife told me just a few hours ago that she does not feel well when she has to step out of her eating style and consume something not healthy. It truly is criminal what is happening to our society when it comes to what people are eating. You have made a great contribution to welfare of those who are reading your words.

Gyula - May 3, 2012 3:14 AM

A totally agree on the taste of foods. I used to eat same way as any other folk, but I had to stop salting the food when it turned out that I had high blood pressure. First I found the food tasteless, but after some time I started to like the real taste of my dishes, and re-discovered how delicious vegetables and fruits can be.
A few years ago I told my wife I was not a goat to eat vegetables, and I went for the fries and icecream. Now I eat veggies and fruits almost with every meal, and hardly eat anything else beetwen them.

Stan Snacks Starsky - May 3, 2012 11:59 AM

Great points...It is amazing to me that there are people that almost never eat fresh foods. I have a co-worker that eats fast food for lunch and junk food throughout the day and is on blood pressure and diabetes medication...It really is kind of sad.


mgm - May 3, 2012 3:11 PM

I'm on the journey and sometimes get discouraged with myself for occasional lapses, but I am happy to say that, all in all, my tastes really have changed. Some things still tempt, but some things aren't even a temptation anymore. A friend just brought me a Gigi's cupcake from a trip to Las Vegas. I took the tiniest little taste of the frosting and it just tasted disgusting to me. Into the trash it went (but not in front of my friend.) And this from a girl who used to eat the corner piece of cake because it had more frosting on the sides, as well as the big frosting roses on top - with lots of food coloring! Pure poison, and those days are so over. Now my favorite sweet treat is watermelon.

Dawn Sonntag - May 6, 2012 9:22 PM

Talia, your posts are refreshing and inspirational.

Craig Holman - May 8, 2012 3:49 PM

There is a lot of information coming forward about food addiction. I would recommend a conference that has free talks concerning this issue. It is a www.foodaddictionsummit.org/agenda. The food industry clearly has an interest in having knowledge about food addiction. They will use this information to keep people eating at the trough to continue to maintain their bottom line for shareholders. What a sad state.

Stephen - May 9, 2012 1:42 PM

While all the points you make are essentially valid, it would be a mistake to throw the baby out with the bath water. The concept of processed foods serves a genuine need in our hectic lifestyle. In fact you are not objecting to them but to the unhealthy ingredients most of them contain. Take the unhealthy ingredients out and you'll have healthy processed foods. For example, blanching broccoli spears, tossing with a healthy sauce and quick freezing results in a healthy frozen processed food that does not go bad in the fridge if not eaten within a few days like fresh does.

So let's apply consumer pressure to motivate the production of healthy processed foods or make our own.

DeAnn - May 10, 2012 5:16 PM

Big Food says Promoting Fruits and Veges is Bad for Business

In an effort to get American children to eat more fruits and vegetables should, even in hyper-polarized Washington, be a no-brainer. Last week, Congress declared pizza sauce to be a vegetable in school lunches. Now, major food manufacturers are escalating their attacks against healthy food, calling proposed food marketing guidelines "job killers" that will devastate the American economy.
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission, along with three other federal agencies (FDA, CDC and USDA), released a set of proposed voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children to reduce sugars, fats and salts and increase fruits, whole grains and vegetables in the diets of American youth. In 2008, led by Senators Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), Congress asked for the recommendations to address the nations' growing obesity crisis among our nation's youth.
Studies show that one-third of all children aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese. In the past three decades rates have more than doubled among kids aged 2 to 5 and more than tripled among those ages 6 through 11. The incidence of "adult onset" diabetes in children and youth has more than doubled in the past decade.
A coalition of major manufacturers of processed foods, fast-food chains and the media industry that depends on their advertising dollars are spending millions to derail the proposed guidelines. The FTC has already started to trim the proposal in response to the lobbying blitzkrieg but industry wants to go ever further. They want to use an industry-designed scheme that would declare Chocolate Lucky Charms, Marshmallow Pebbles and Cookie Crisp cereals as healthy.
But despite industry claims these guidelines are not mandatory regulations; they are voluntary guidelines developed by an independent committee of nutrition experts about how we can improve children's health.
That hasn't stopped industry predictions of economic disaster. According to comments filed by General Mills' to Interagency Working Group "the economic consequences [of the guidelines] for American consumers and American agriculture would be devastating." They also predict "severe" economic consequences for the media industry and their employees.
They argue that the voluntary guidelines would cause consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables produced in other countries and therefore fewer grains grown in America. According to research funded by the Grocery Manufacturers of America, "demand for fruits and vegetables would increase by 1009 percent and 226 percent respectively" resulting in almost $500 billion more spent on imported food and $30 billion less on domestically grown grain.
Even if the voluntary guidelines were that effective and their study was accurate, it's an audacious marketing spin to turn an overwhelmingly positive victory for public health into a big government, job-killing attack on freedom.
Another industry-funded study claimed that the voluntary guidelines would result in the loss of 74,000 jobs. An analysis by the Economic Policy Institute found the study riddled with "implausible" assumptions, historical inconsistencies and incomplete analyses of potential impacts to both the industry and economy as a whole. For example, the industry study assumes, without justification, a 20 percent decline in advertising and completely ignores the likely scenario in which companies shift advertising to other products or audiences. It also ignores the fact that there has been no negative economic impact since the industry adopted its own guidelines in 2006. In fact, EPI concludes that the guidelines could have no impact on jobs or could even lead to job growth in other parts of the economy.
Finally, General Mills adds that the food companies' $1.6 billion in advertising expenditures "would go up in smoke." "$1.6 billion in economic activity cannot disappear without an impact on people's jobs and livelihoods" they wrote.
While it's impossible to believe that food conglomerates wouldn't redirect their advertising dollars, it's even harder to think that media companies wouldn't find other buyers. In fact, they've done it before. When Congress banned tobacco ads on TV and radio in 1970 media companies stood to lose $220 million in annual cigarette advertising. Like their counterparts today, the networks, and broadcasters associations lobbied hard alongside big tobacco against the ban.
The media industry did fine. Total TV and radio advertising sales has increased every year before the ban and after. According to media analysts, in 1969 ad expenditures on TV and radio were $4.85 billion. In 1972, they were $5.7 billion.
For decades, industries have opposed laws, rules and even basic consumer information that have made us all healthier. At every step they predict disaster but, in fact, they respond with new ideas and innovations, and we all benefit. These voluntary guidelines merely suggest a path that industry should embrace and applaud.
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