It’s 2010! What’s your new years resolution? It should definitely include watching this Mummers preformance about how corn subsidies make junk food too cheap leading to increased rates of diabetes and making health care more expensive for everyone. Spread awareness and watch “Philly Phood Phantasia!”
Health researchers say federal subsidies for soybeans and corn worsen the nation’s obesity problem, especially in low-income communities. Government subsidies spur farmers to plant specific crops, creating an abundant, cheap supply of fat-producing soybean oil and high-fructose corn syrup. Nutritionists say these building blocks for fattening foods — from hamburgers to soda and potato chips — hurt the nation’s health. Because of these farm subsidies, nutritionally valuable foods are more expensive than nutritionally poor food. Foods made with subsidized crops like soybean oil and high-fructose corn syrup have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. See for your self – google “corn subsidies.
“Philly Phood Phantasia!” was preformed by the Vaudevillians New Year’s Brigade during their third year as Mummers. The song you hear coming out of the PA system (on loan from The Barbary) is an original piece constructed by Co-Capt Jay Roselius and Gavin Riley. The lead sign was painted by Alex Lukas. The girl in the pretzel suit is Co-Capt Hillary Rea. Every year, since its founding in 2007, the group has created their costumes at SPACE 1026. Emerita Sonja Trauss was the founder and Captain of their first performance on New Year’s Day 2008.
We contacted the VNYB’s Captain of this year, Tip Flannery. This is what he had to say about the VNYB and their choice of theme….
“The theme came about pretty organically. We settled on the really general food part early on last year, partly because we thought there were some existing set pieces from various other projects that we could repurpose (which in the end we wound up not using.) We really do try to run ourselves as a non-hierarchical consensus-based decision-making collective, so the mummer hierarchy of captains and co-captains is pretty much just for administrative stuff. We finalized the corn subsidy and the economic nutritional inequality parts in late November, at the last minute before we needed to turn it in to the judges and announcers, through a 2-day email thread of about 200 responses from all of the members. We really tried to make sure we weren’t judging or demonizing anyone for their individual food choices but rather we were critiquing institutional and industrial factors like government corn subsidies and huge agribusiness in general. So, we came to our theme in sort of a roundabout way – we started with food, started designing and making costumes, then nailed down the specifics of our theme at the end, with input from everyone who wanted to contribute.”
Captain of VNYB 2010
If you would like to donate money to these amazing artists and help them out with their budget for next New Year’s performance, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the VNYB Blog to learn more information on these guys and view pictures from New Year’s Day 2010!