American taxpayers spent $277 billion in agriculture subsides between 1995 and 2011, money that goes to farmers who harvest crops like corn and soybeans.
But, according to a report put out by the organization ConnPIRG, roughly $18.2 billion of that overall subsidy figure went toward food additives, such as high fructose corn syrup, vegetable oils and other processed sweeteners.
“Thus, Americans’ tax dollars directly subsidize junk food ingredients,” the executive report stated.
Connecticut’s share of the subsidy amounted to around $12.3 million last year, of which $430,000 went toward apple subsidies.
Read a full breakdown of the report here.
By contrast, in that same 16-year time period, the federal government paid $637 million in subsidizes for apples, which is one of the few fresh fruits or vegetables that have significant federal subsidy, ConnPIRG said.
“To put that figure in perspective, $18.2 billion is enough to buy 2.9 billion Twinkies every year - 21 for every single American taxpayer,” the report read.
Also, that’s only about half an apple for those 21 Twinkies.
ConnPIRG gave its presentation on the issue during a press conference in New Haven this week. The New Haven Register has more on that story.
As a consumer, does this report bother you? Or do you think the farm subsidies are still necessary because those food additives may serve a larger purpose? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.