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Subsidies For Olive Oil Instead of Crude Oil!

What if the government subsidized the production of olive oil instead of crude oil? Would oil then be spilled in the ocean or drizzled on grilled fish? I bet I know the fishes vote. Fewer Hummers and more hummus? Yes please.

Photo of Demian Repucci
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The U.S. oil industry receives between $15 - $35 billion a year (2007) in subsidies. What if that money, even half of it, went to subsidize the production of olive oil instead? The higher price of gas would cause people to think twice before buying the big guzzler (another challenge?) and the price of olive oil would become cheap enough that it would be used by more people more often. And the possibilities for olive oil's use in the fast food industry are many. Just imagine if McDonald's and Burger King touted their use of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil without having to increase their prices? Kid's health could make huge strides.
But the larger issue is that of the government supporting industries that promote health and a cleaner environment, not just ones with the most lobbyists or popularity. Our leadership should step up and truly lead by sometimes making the right, though less popular, choices. Help us all to have greater access to eating healthy foods. Instead of letting us eat cake.


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