Thursday, July 26, 2007

Junk food subisidies and other disasters...

Here is some required reading about the US farm bill that is about to be passed into law in Congress, yet again with no substantial changes.

This piece by Michael Pollan (the author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma") explains how far-reaching the consequences of this farm bill are, and what they mean to each person.

If you agree that the way we grow food, "make" food and eat food has gone seriously awry, contact your local lawmaker and insist that they overcome their political maneuvers and look out for the interests of their citizens.

Update (2007-10-16): Here's another interesting piece on's "How The World Works" series. Andrew Leonard talks about a new ad campaign from Oxfam that criticizes where the major part of the Farm Bill's huge subsidies go – no problems with that –, but shuns the other important problems of our agricultural subsidies. From it:
The goal of the ad campaign's creators is obviously to keep it simple. No mention of how removing subsidies altogether would help farmers in the developing world, who can't compete with the low prices for commodity goods that result from subsidized American overproduction. No mention of the challenge of figuring out what crops and agricultural practices should be encouraged by the Farm Bill, in place of the current system, which, for example, provides huge incentives for King Corn monoculture. No mention of the Farm Bill's huge influence on the American diet,

Just the simple equation: The Farm Bill disproportionately caters to the greedy rich. Not that there's anything wrong with pointing that out.

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