If, like for most people, prices are an important factor in what foods you choose to buy, government subsidies have a significant impact on what ends up on your plate.

Walk down any aisle, and you’re likely to come across high-fructose corn syrup. This commonly used artificial sweetener owes its prevalence to government handouts to the corn industry. Generous subsidies enable the widespread use of high-fructose corn syrup, contributing to the overconsumption of sugary foods.

The alcohol aisle reveals another facet of this issue. Subsidized corn finds its way into mass-produced alcoholic beverages, making them more affordable thanks to government financial support.

Move on to the pet food aisle, where the influence of subsidized ingredients is evident. Corn-based fillers, driven by economic considerations, play a significant role in pet food formulations, unintentionally contributing to health challenges faced by our pets.

A glance at the meat freezer underscores the impact of government subsidies on livestock feeds. Corn-heavy diets, supported by these subsidies, often compromise the nutritional richness of livestock, leading to health issues such as weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

The cereal aisles, often filled with catchy branding, are no exception. Many cereal brands benefit from agricultural subsidies, featuring inflammatory wheat as their primary ingredient. These breakfast options are not only nutritionally deficient but also high in added sugars, typically sourced from high-fructose corn syrup.

Journeying into the junk food aisle, we find manufacturers capitalizing on government subsidies for corn, wheat, and soybeans. These subsidies drive the production of snacks loaded with additives and preservatives, shaping the composition of popular items like Doritos and sugary drinks.

Eliminating market distortions caused by subsidies could lead to a more competitive food market. Businesses would be incentivized to respond to consumer demand for healthier alternatives. While some may still prefer less healthy options, a shift toward organic, grass-fed, and simpler foods is on the rise.

Community initiatives, educational campaigns, and local farmers’ markets are playing a pivotal role in promoting a culture of wellness. This ground-up movement has the potential to pave the way for a food market where informed consumers and responsive businesses shape a healthier future.

To achieve this, political reforms prioritizing consumer choice over lobbyist influence and voluntary exchanges over governmental protectionism are crucial. Let’s move forward toward a food market where individuals are empowered to make informed choices for their well-being. It’s time for a clear, direct, and nutritious approach to the food on our plates.

Moreover, many believe that the ultimate path to individual liberty lies in emphasizing health and wellness; that personal freedom can only be achieved when we proactively care for our mental and physical health. 

A healthy body and mind enable us to make choices independently, unburdened by the restraints created by chronic illness or poor mental health. By prioritizing personal well-being, individuals can maximize their autonomy and exercise their freedom to the fullest extent possible.

This topic will be an important topic of discussion at Students For Liberty’s upcoming LibertyCon International

There, John Mackey, co-founder and former CEO of Whole Foods Market, co-author of the bestseller Conscious Capitalism, and author of several cooking books will discuss maximizing personal freedom through health and wellness with Spike Cohen, Founder and President of You Are The Power and 2020 Libertarian Party vice-presidential nominee.

Students For Liberty’s flagship annual event, LibertyCon International will be held in Washington, D.C., on February 2-4, 2024. It promises to be the place for engaging with leading experts and connecting with others who share a dedication to advancing pro-liberty ideas and creating a freer future.

Click the button below to sign up for updates and secure your spot at this exciting event. We can’t wait to see you there!

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.