Agriculture is a bigger enterprise than most people realize. Food is a commodity consumed by 100% of the world’s population. And while it's a different matter to say which foods will be preferred, the grain industry has found a clever solution to this marketing dilemma by making its product absolutely ubiquitous.
Grain products are almost unavoidable in the modern human diet. The grain industry is one so powerful, so enormous, so well-established, that its role as the ‘foundation’ of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid would go almost without saying.
If meat and dairy lobbies influenced USDA policy in 1992, as this writeup by Zeolite explains, then grain marketers practically created USDA policy for the previous hundred years.
Virtually the entire global grain market is controlled by only two companies (hence, a duopoly): Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, (“ADM”), and another company, Cargill (Muttitt, 52). The implications of this fact, once ‘digested’, are baffling. It means that nearly every granola bar, corn flake, Chinese take-out meal, pizza slice, beer, noodle, and soda (if sweetened with corn syrup) sold in the world has factored into its cost a little something for ADM or Cargill. Even the purchase of meat and dairy foods provides financial support to ADM and Cargill, since grains are used to feed the cattle, chickens, and other animals used in meat and/or dairy products.
In a country where money equals power, the consolidated financial clout of the grain industry is unfathomably strong. Is it any surprise, then, that the touted basis of a “healthy diet” is 6 to 11 servings of grains per day?
Muttitt, Greg. “Control Freaks.” The Ecologist 31.2 (2001): 52-54.