You can eat whatever you want if…

Warning-this is not a political post. This is a post about telling the truth about what’s happening now and what’s coming.

It seems that there has been some pushback on Senator Harris’s comments about limiting the intake of red meat. Can you imagine the nerve of Senator Harris addressing an epidemic that involves 88% of Americans suffering from some form of diet-related disease and sickness and an epidemic costing us trillions, and one that shows no signs of slowing down over the next 10 years.

I am glad she said something. I am glad someone said something about our health! I don’t care if she ruffled some feathers because I want to know who is going to keep paying for diet-related disease and sickness, especially as it gets worse.

From my point of view and being in the health and wellness industry for 21 plus years, it seems like we have no desire to change our gluttonous consumer ways. Do you know how many times that I have heard “People don’t care about their health.” Even worse, research shows the people who have been charged to treat their bodies as holy temples are in worse health than everyone else. In an all seriousness, what are we to do when the “accountability” people have no reason to hold themselves accountable for the ways they have and are continuing to make themselves sick? From my point of view, the only way to address this problem in a non political, non religious and fair and balanced way is…

I propose that you can eat and drink whatever you want but you have to pay for any and all complications that result from diet-related disease, should you develop them. No more sharing the health care cost. You pay for it with no health insurance cost or taxes spread to anyone else. From now on, you are expected to hold yourself accountable for the “choices” that you make if those “choices” cause diet-related sickness and disease.

“A heart bypass surgery can easily cost over $100,000, meaning patients usually require some type of insurance in order to pay for the procedure.”

Seriously, I don’t want to pay for anyone who refuses to take their own life seriously. I know this sounds harsh but tell me who is going to pay for diet-related disease and sickness, and why should I be responsible for someone who is choosing to make bad decisions day after day after day.

Of course, no one seems to be talking about diet-related disease and sickness and the trillions in cost that most Americans believe they are entitled to put on someone else’s shoulders. No… instead of asking questions about why we should limit red meat or even checking The American Heart Association’s website, we had rather be immediately outraged that someone is telling us what to do with our body.

Funny, how so many don’t want to be told to wear a mask or be held responsible for the disease and sickness that they have caused in their own bodies but we want to tell everyone else what to do with their bodies, and we want to hold them responsible for outcomes that many have no control over, just look at how we fund mental illness and children born into generational and systemic poverty and misfortune, or in the wrong country.

By the way, “The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats – which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. Decades of sound science has proven it can raise your “bad” cholesterol and put you at higher risk for heart disease.”

Facts:

WHAT DO RISING CHRONIC DISEASE RATES MEAN FOR TENNESSEE?

Projected total cost of chronic disease from 2016-2030 in Tennessee is $1 trillion. In 2015, 4.2 million people in Tennessee had at least 1 chronic disease, 1.8 million had 2 or more chronic diseases. Chronic disease could cost Tennessee $46.1 billion in medical costs and an extra $19.5 billion annually in lost employee productivity (average per year 2016-2030).

“Baby Boomers To Push U.S. Health Spending To $6 Trillion By 2027” “The next generation of senior citizens will be sicker and costlier to the health care system over the next 14 years than previous generations, according to a new report from the United Health Foundation. We’re talking about you, baby boomers.”

– “The costs of heart disease in the United States will triple between now and 2030, to more than $800 billion a year, a report commissioned by the American Heart Association predicted on Monday.”

– Cardiovascular disease costs will exceed $1 trillion by 2035. Nearly half of Americans will develop pre-existing cardiovascular disease conditions, analysis shows by 2035, cardiovascular disease, the most costly and prevalent killer, if left unchecked, will place a crushing economic and health burden on the nation’s financial and health care systems, a new study projects.

– “By 2030, roughly 42 percent of Americans will be obese, researchers announced today to kick off the “Weight of the Nation” obesity conference in Washington, D.C. That staggering rise will contribute to a rise in major health care costs, so much so that the researchers behind the study say keeping obesity rates level over the next 20 years could save nearly $550 billion.”

– “Costs associated with cancer treatment are expected to exceed $245 billion by 2030, or nearly a 34% increase from 2015 billing, according to a new study.”

– “Looking at a more complete picture of cost from diet-related disease “As we write in a new Milken Institute report, U.S. health care costs for chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease totaled $1.1 trillion in 2016. When lost economic productivity is included, the total economic impact was $3.7 trillion. This is equivalent to nearly 20 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product.”

– “Covid-19 will inflict long-term damage on the U.S. economy, shrinking it by $7.9 trillion over the next decade, according to new projections by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).” Forbes

…“This week the CDC quietly updated the Covid number to admit that only 6% of all the 153,504 deaths recorded actually died from Covid That’s 9,210 deaths The other 94% had 2-3 other serious illnesses & the overwhelming majority were of very advanced age,”

– “According to the American Diabetes Association, the annual cost of diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion, including $237 billion in direct medical expenditures and $90 billion in reduced worker productivity. (More than 90 percent of diabetes cases are Type 2, which is strongly associated with obesity.) The total impact of obesity and its related complications on the United States’ economic output has been estimated at between 4 and 8 percent of gross domestic product. Even on the lower end, that’s comparable to the 2018 defense budget ($643 billion) and Medicare ($588 billion).

Another point of contention with Senator Harris’s comments is how the restriction of meat would affect farmers. Obviously, words matter and policies matter, especially when you are a farmer and your hanging on by the skin of your teeth.

My heart is for farmers and I am tired of seeing farmers in a position few other professions find themselves in- backs against the wall, fire under their feet and stressed to the max.

For the farmer’s sake, I wanted to know what the consequences of restricting red meat would be on cattle farmers. On one hand, there’s no denying how agriculture and diet-related sickness are interrelated, interconnected and interdependent, and that health and agriculture both determine and reflect each other. Likewise, there’s no denying (unless you don’t believe in science) that animal based products need to be restricted to avoid diet-related disease and sickness.

It would be interesting to see Tennesseee’s cost of diet-related disease and sickness compared with how much farmers actually make (net) on cattle, including any government subsidies and how much meat is sold in Tennessee that is not produced in Tennessee. So far I found that “Tennessee has more chronic disease than the U.S. and it costs $5.3 billion annually” and “The cash receipts from the sale of cattle and calves during 2007 totaled $582 million which was 22.5 percent of the state’s total agricultural income.” Please numbers people, I need your help.

Even though it looks like diet-related disease and sickness costs us so much more than we make on beef cattle, I still want to know facts and numbers on how a possible government restriction would affect cattle farmers.

I guess first things first, I would like to know how many farmers are supporting his or her family on his cattle operation. Over the past two years, I have yet to go to a gathering of local farmers and not hear “Don’t get into the cattle business unless it’s your second job” or “it’s hobby.”

In looking at financial losses, I don’t want to hear about how a corrupt JBS fairs or some other out of the country factory farm who are already reaping all the benefits of meat production. I want to hear about cattle farmers in my state, Tennessee. How many cattle farmers would a restriction of meat put out of business? How many farms lost?

I have discovered that when trying to get a clear picture of Agriculture in America, it is pretty much smoke and mirrors. It’s quite easy to find some data with big numbers to make it seem like farming and cattle farming are booming but it is difficult to get a clear picture of how many and how much cattle farmers are making and how much they stand to lose if the government restricts meat.

Easily I found this…
• More Tennesseans are involved in beef production than any other agricultural enterprise. There are 79,000 farms in Tennessee and beef cattle are found on 42,000 (53.0 percent) of these.

“Tennessee is home to ….2 million cattle.”

But I want to know how much money does a farmer make off cattle and the size of farms, even the “average” cattle farm?

But I had to really dig to find…

“Tennessee’s average farm size, 144 acres and the 29.3-cow average size herd also facilitate off-farm employment”

“Most of the state’s 77,000 farmers are classified as small. “Our average herd size is 23 to 24 head of cattle,” says Charles Hord, executive vice president of the Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association.

“Sale of cattle and calves is the number one source of agricultural income in Tennessee.”

Sounds impressive. Perhaps, you are asking how much does the number one source of agricultural income make the average cattle producer?

Hold your hats- Just a little over $15,000.

Whose supporting their family on 15,000? Whose keeping a family farm making $15,000?

This is important: According to USDA Economic Research Service, 81.8% of farms net a -0.9 and 6.5% make $44,000.

This is also important: According to Cornell,
• Farm operations with over $1 million in 2010 sales receive almost 55 percent of U.S. agriculture’s net farm income and account for over 60 percent of U.S. livestock value of production while making up just over 2 percent of U.S. farm operations.

I found this advice from a farmer “With current land and bred cow prices I would guess you would have in the ballpark of $1 million tied up in 240 acres and 120 cows depending on age of cows and how good of a farm you buy. $25K would be 2.5% ROA before you even figure prop. taxes, insurance, feed, fertilizer, machinery, labor, death lose, ect. Why would you be willing to invest that much money and expect such a small return? I know CD rates are very low, but by the time you figure in all other costs you would have as much ROA sitting on the couch while interest adds up then investing that much in land and cattle to only make $25K. Personally if I had that much capital and labor tied up, I would expect a much hire profit then $25K.”

Unless you are inheriting land, then good luck.

Do you know how much it currently cost to make a living raising cows? Here’s a great article, even though I have yet to see land less than $5000 to $11,000 an acre in my area. “How to raise livestock for Profit.”

Have you checked land prices? Do you think a bank is going to give you a loan to raise cattle or start a cattle farm in the current place? Did you know it cost 5 million dollars to start farming?

****But even with all of this, I have come up with a way to help Tennesseee’s cattle farmers in the event of a government restriction and even in the current poor conditions of cattle farming, I propose each state refuse to allow any meat that is not grown and processed in their own state to be sold in their state. If we really want to change the opportunities and futures of cattle farmers, then solidify their markets. Stop importing meat into our state.

Why are we not looking at truth and at the declining state that agriculture has been for a long time? Maybe all this piss and vinegar popping up in 2020 is from years of watching what the government has been doing to farmers for decades and passing policies that have supplied consumers with cheap fast food that have made 88% of Americans sick, while putting thousands of farmers out of business.

Don’t you think it’s time we wake up and stop worrying about the 2% of farmers and start thinking about 88.3% of farmers and 88% of Americans, who need a collective moment of truth to free ourselves from these broken systems that takes advantage of so many to benefit so few.

For the record, I do not think it’s completely our fault that we are suffering from epidemics diet-related disease and sickness. I think we have been primed, pushed and overwhelmed with a capitalistic system that needs us to be sick to make a handful of corporations a whole lot of money.

Side note- do you know what we could do for agriculture and farming if we only sold fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and meat produced and processed in TN. It would completely change agriculture in our state. Sure, we might need to get some bananas elsewhere but for the majority of products we would have home grown, locally produced and processed foods by local people we know and love.

Have we forgotten that we can only survive when we work together to give and receive truth, love, mercy and kindness?

Another article on farming in America https://time.com/5736789/small-american-farmers-debt-crisis-extinction/

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