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March 7th, 2010:

Why our meat is so cheap [chart]

If there is one thing that McDonald’s taught us, it is that Prosperity doesn’t taste like Tofu—it tastes like meat.

Perhaps this is why the most prosperous nation in the world spends so much money subsidizing the cost of meat. What, after all, is the good of all our riches if every man, woman and child in American can’t afford to eat meat on a daily basis?

As the chart below from Good Medicine illustrates, the government directs the vast majority of our food subsidies towards meat, a bit less go towards grains (we need to keep high fructose corn syrup cheap, after all) and the remainder is aimed at side dishes, like vegetables.

Looks about right to me.*

After all, without all those massive meat subsidies, McDonald’s burgers wouldn’t cost less than $1 and all-you-can-eat steakhouses like Fugo-de-Chao probably wouldn’t exist. And that would be a tragedy.

*Truth be told, I tend to think we should eliminate all agricultural subsidies. But absent that, I’ take a little comfort  from the fact that they are making my steak dinner more affordable in the short term.

[Good Health via Consumerist]

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