By Laura Stec
Farm Bill CafeUploaded: Apr 2, 2018
After an early-year hiatus it’s time to start Food Partying! again.
Are you hungry?
It’s good to take a little break at year’s dawn. Get away from the daily hurl-and-whirl. Slow down and refill the inspirational pitcher. But after lying on the low, I’m ready for some political passion in this era of action. Maybe you too? Have you thought about food stirring you toward revolutionary ardor?
If so, join us in a read of:
The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill
and get your activism humors revved. The Farm Bill is the largest piece of legislation governing the U.S. food supply and nobody knows anything about it. Passed every 5-7 years by Congress, it deals everything Department of Agriculture, and chooses the foods that will be plentiful and cheap. Turns out what we want to eat for best flavor, health and the health of the planet, and what our Farm Bill tax dollars subsidize, are DIFFERENT ways of eating.
What they tell us to eat, and what they fund, are completely opposite.
The biggest supported commodities are the junk food crops, specifically corn, soy and wheat, which supply the fats needed to grow factory-farmed animals, the sugar for our high-fructose corn syrup-filled sodas, and the flour for our snack addiction. The current Farm Bill is why highly-processed crap in the grocery store is cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables (still considered a specialty crop in the bill). By funding the production of too much corn, soy, wheat and animal products en mass, the Feds subsidize obesity and diabetes.
2018 is renewal year for the Farm Bill, and the first time since 1954 that the Republicans have the White House and Congress during it’s debate and passing. Plus, we have a Secretary of Agriculture who looks like he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in years.
Time to pay more attention.
Until a new bill passes (later this year, early next???), The Food Party! will be reading, meeting (if you’d like to join us in person, let me know) and writing about the book, the bill, food systems change, our legislators and what we want them (and us) to do. This will include good bottles of wine as incentive by the way, supporting the Food Party! philosophy - if it ain’t fun, it don’t get done!
So get your copy online (cheap - $5) or from the library and join this community effort. Start reading chapters 1 - 3, and we’ll talk about it in a few weeks here on the blog.
For more info on the Farm Bill, check out the National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition.
- graphics from Congressman Earl Blumenauer's comic book, The Fight for Food