Thursday, August 17, 2006

Food For Thought - Farm Bill 2007

I was doing research and trying to provide a well researched article on US Farm Policies and Commodities with reguards to subsidies on corn etc. But everytime I tried to read one of the policies or reports on policies my head felt like it would explode.

I evidently need to do research into understanding the research before I can even adequately write about it.

However there is an article by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy that talks more plainly about the 2007 Farm Bill and what it means to American food supplies.

Notable excerpts:

"For the past 50 years, U.S. farm policy has been increasinly directed toward driving down the price of a few farm commodities including corn and soybeans. At the same time, prices for fruits and vegetables, grown with relatively little government support have steadily increased."

"Whether by intention or not, current farm policy has directed food industry investment into producing low-cost, processed foods high in added fats and sugars. These foods are often more available and more affordable than fresher, healthier choices and, not coincidentally, U.S. consumers are not eating more added sweeteners and oils than is healthy. Our misguided farm policy is making poor eating habits an economically sensible choice in the short term."

One of their solutions for this trend is to add support for Organic and Enviromentally friendly farming, that isn't being addressed by the farm bill.

"The Conservation Security Program provides farmers with a financial incentive to diversify their crop rotations and thereby produce environmental benefits that address resource concerns. Some food system problems could similarly be addressed with a "Health Security Program", where farmers recieve financial incentives for raising produce crops, grass-fed dairy and livestock, or organic products."

Its definately an interesting read and definately something we should look into and maybe address with our government representatives.

I definately don't want my tax dollars going to support wasteful corn production. Though I would definately throw money at supporting farmers who make a point to grow organically.

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