Food Products Of The United States

1944 Words8 Pages
The average Joe living in the United States has one of the lowest percentages of his annual income going towards purchasing food every year. Much of this is the result of increased efficiency in producing a mass amount of goods. Food products that have resulted from these alterations are processed. From packaging, to freezing, to salting, there exists a myriad of “processes” that many processed foods have undergone due to health safety or convenience. Corn, one of most large-scale grown crops in the United States, is incentivized from the beginning of production to be cheap and affordable as a processed good. Government policies passed by the efforts of Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture under President Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford,…show more content…
In 1971, Earl Butz took over the position of Secretary of Agriculture. In his time heading the USDA, Butz brought drastic changes to federal agricultural policy and began the start of the modern farming method. With his new policies, many large scale farming became the new method of growing. Farmers were encouraged to plant on all their land and produce as much of their crops as possible. Butz’s new policies advocated farmers to “get big or get out” and urged farmers to plant commodity crops like corn “from fencerow to fencerow” (Woolf 2007). This would create a large surplus of goods out in the market and lower the price of crops to a few dollars per bushel. Programs like the one that “paid corn farmers to not plant all their land was abolished” because of Butz’s new agricultural policies (Philpott 2008). This shifted the American farm economy to give rise to large commercial farms and the abundance of corn in American diets. Due to this surplus of Corn on the market, the price of corn per bushel would reach so low that it would no longer be profitable for farmers. To counter the effects of this, Butz “subsidized corn so that the government would pay farmers for their crops when the price went below a certain threshold” (Philpott 2008). As a result of the reforms, corn became one of the most abundant crops available for purchase. In fact, the price of corn was so cheap that food processing companies began to use corn as the major ingredient of many of their
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