(NaturalNews) These days, it's difficult to find examples of government doing anything that makes sense. That's all the more reason why a program embraced by New York City is newsworthy. Dubbed the "Fruit and Vegetables Prescription Program," it allows doctors to "prescribe" fresh fruit and vegetables to overweight or obese patients by giving them "Health Bucks" that are redeemable at local farmer's markets.
This program makes New York City the largest U.S. city to officially acknowledge that fruits and vegetables have a role to play in preventing chronic degenerative disease -- an idea that the FDA insists is delusional. According to the FDA, there is no such thing as any fruit, vegetable, supplement or superfood that has any ability whatsoever to prevent, treat or cure any disease.
Sure, the FDA's belief is ancient history in terms of present-day knowledge about nutrition and disease, but it's still federal policy. And according to the FDA, the mere "prescribing" of a food as something to prevent obesity automatically transforms that food into a "drug." Under current FDA regulations, then, NYC is guilty of promoting "unapproved drugs" which are really just fruits and vegetables. But that's how FDA logic works.
NYC officials invest in nutrition to prevent disease
New York doesn't seem to be letting the FDA's outdated delusions stop it from pursuing the "Fruits and Vegetables Prescription Program," however. Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs and Health Commissioner Thomas Farley announced the program last week, and by all accounts the program has been met with widespread approval. It allows families that are prescribed the Health Bucks to redeem them for fresh produce at over 140 New York City farmer's markets.
Bronx resident Tammy Futch said her family has seen positive changes since starting the program.
"My son lost 40 pounds behind this program," she said, "and also I lost weight doing it with him and also I have my other kids, I have four other kids also doing the program."
The Prescription Program was started by Wholesome Wave in 2011 and has since been expanded to seven states.
Natural News endorses the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program
For the record, all of us here at Natural News openly endorse this program, and we think it needs to be vastly expanded. To understand why, let's talk about the role of government and food stamps for a moment.
The SNAP program is nothing more than a big government handout to junk food manufacturers and soda companies. That's because food stamp money can be spent on all the processed junk foods and sodas that make people sick and diseased with conditions like diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and more. Through SNAP, the federal government is subsidizing the foods that cause sickness! Obviously, this also drives up health care costs and deeply harms the overall U.S. economy.
What if we took the federal SNAP program and turned the entire thing into the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program?
What I mean here is to shift the SNAP program so that all processed junk foods are disallowed. Update the rules so that SNAP funds can only be used to buy fresh produce and a few basic staples such as rice, oats, beans, salt and so on.
All of a sudden, you'd see a nationwide shift away from disease and toward vastly improved health. Disease rates would plummet, but so would the share prices of junk food companies like PepsiCo, Kraft and Coca-Cola. You'd also see lower rates of chronic degenerative disease, and this would hurt the profits of the all-powerful drug companies, hospitals and cancer industry profiteers. For these reasons, the food and medicine lobby will incessantly pressure the USDA to make sure SNAP continues to keep Americans sick and diseased. After all, billions of dollars in profits are at stake here, and the drug companies have a powerful lobby.
So don't expect the feds to do anything other than keep poisoning America through SNAP. That's the purpose of the program, it seems: to sicken the population and trap Americans in a never-ending cycle of medical dependence while enriching the drug companies.
Cities can succeed where the federal government fails
But on a city-by-city basis, forward-thinking people are starting to fight back against the "industry of death" offered by the USDA and its junk food subsidy programs. That's why New York City deserves a lot of credit for this particular program: it's investing taxpayer money directly into the health of people who are on the verge of becoming huge financial burdens on the health care system.
See, for every dollar you spend subsidizing real nutrition in the population -- fresh fruits, vegetables or superfoods -- you'll probably save $10 or more in averted health care costs over the long term. Healthy foods are a fantastic investment because they're cheap to buy but extremely valuable in terms of the lifesaving medicines they provide.
Because of all the astounding health benefits of foods, a typical farmer's market is a treasure chest of natural medicines that can prevent and reverse cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's and much more. It is only because of monopolistic, oppressive FDA policies that the entire medical profession isn't already "prescribing" fresh produce to prevent degenerative disease.
This is how we beat the federal death sentence: City by city, state by state, prescribing nutrition to prevent disease
Personally, I find it fascinating that NYC is the place where this is happening right now. NYC is normally a pro-big-government city, meaning they should worship the FDA-endorsed idea of feeding everybody chemical medications and junk foods while attacking nutrition and outlawing health claims.
But that's not what we're seeing here. With this program, NYC is actually taking a stand against FDA tyranny and the federal government's "death subsidy" program called SNAP. Perhaps NYC realizes it's headed the way of Detroit if doesn't get its long-term health care costs under control. After all, a city that lives on processed food and prescription medications is a city that will inevitably collapse from "disease care" bankruptcy. And right now across America's largest 61 cities, future health care entitlements are only funded at 6 cents on the dollar.
Perhaps there are enough smart New Yorkers still in charge to realize the only way to have a healthy city is to have healthy people. And that means finding creative ways to get people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables rather than pigging out on nutrient-depleted junk foods. The easiest solution to all this is to just hand out vouchers for fresh produce, effectively giving them to the population for free.
The two areas where government has a legitimate role in handing out benefits
That's why I think every city in the nation would be smart to implement this program. Although I don't like the overall idea of any government running around hanging money out to people, this is one exception where it actually makes sense.
In fact, I've always believed there are TWO areas where the government has a legitimate role in subsidizing the public:
1) NUTRITION - Fresh produce, superfoods and food-based supplements and non-pasteurized concentrates. Government handouts of nutrition actually save the taxpayers money in long-term health care costs.
2) EDUCATION - A college degree should be a "pay it forward" agreement from one generation to the next. No student who qualifies for a college or university should be denied that education simply because they cannot afford it.
These are smart investments that create a healthier, more prosperous society. But instead of subsidizing these two things, we have exactly the opposite at the federal level: a government that subsidizes junk foods while attacking nutrition. Remember: it is the official position of the FDA that anyone who sells a lemon while claiming that lemon can help prevent scurvy is a dangerous criminal engaged in "drug crimes."
The FDA's war on fruits, vegetables and nutrition
The FDA warning letters website is full of examples of this, where the agency accuses nutrition companies of selling "unapproved new drugs" simply because they attempt to describe the health benefits of those supplements.
For example, on this warning letter page, the FDA accuses a company called Naturecast Products of selling "unapproved new drugs" because their website described the benefits of chromium on blood sugar:
Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels by collaborating with insulin in facilitating the uptake of glucose into the cells. If chromium is not present, insulin's action is blocked and blood sugar levels are elevated. Insulin is secreted in response to the rise in blood glucose levels after the consumption of a meal. Insulin functions by increasing the rate that glucose is taken up by the cells and the [sic] lowers blood glucose levels.
But the FDA pays no attention to scientific facts. Instead, the agency says that ANY claim, validated or otherwise, automatically transforms a food or supplement into an "unapproved new drug." And for this reason, Americans are kept in the dark about the scientifically-verified health benefits of nutrients, foods, phytochemicals and dietary supplements.
This is by design. The FDA wants to keep the American people ignorant and sick so that Big Pharma can sell them more drugs and vaccines. The FDA is, in effect, the marketing branch of Big Pharma. It uses its regulatory power not to serve America's interests, but to crush America's knowledge of nutrition and health. This is a Dark Ages policy that's causing untold harm to America.
More cities need to stand up to the FDA's tyranny
Today even NYC has run afoul of the FDA's absurd position that foods have no role in human health, but this is precisely what America needs today: a local revolt against federal ignorance about the relationship between food and health.
While the federal SNAP program drives Americans into disease, cities and states need to embrace fruit-and-vegetable programs that can help pull Americans out of the death spiral of junk foods and medications.
And that's why NYC sets a shining example in this particular case, demonstrating what other cities need to follow if they hope to survive the disastrous collapse of health now emerging across America.
We here at Natural News applaud the efforts by NYC officials to prescribe fruits and vegetables as treatments for disease, and we encourage other cities to join in this effort that pays huge dividends in terms of public health and "sick care" cost savings.
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About the author:
Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is the founding editor of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news website, now reaching 7 million unique readers a month.
With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource now featuring over 10 million scientific studies.
In addition to being the co-star of the popular GAIAM TV series called Secrets to Health, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.
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