Tuesday, July 17, 2012

This Farm Bill Ain't "Small Potatoes"

While the pending Farm Bill legislation may not be as intriguing as who Tom Kat will choose next, it will have much more impact on our lives.

Depending on how it plays out, we could see huge reductions in Food Stamp allocations at a time when 1/3 of U.S. children live in poverty; relaxed regs on food inspection, living conditions for animals that will eventually become meat, and the proliferation of GMO's.

Also pending is how much subsidy will be allowed for commodities, particularly corn. Corn, of course, being the staple for high fructose corn syrup that is an ingredient in75 percent of what lies on grocery store shelves and contributes heavily (no pun intended) to the obesity crisis.

What if the bill evolved from the platform that every American should be well and able so that they can play a contributing role in our society? How about that?

Keep in mind that about $300 billion will be divied up per this legislation.

How about starting with what's available in the food basket?  Lots of fruits and vegetables? It's an underpinning for good health, so why not subsidize farmers who provide them, particularly if they are organic. Or provide incentives to families who grow their own?

Would we not logically wean ourselves from corn products and lose some of those extra pounds?

Of course, then, we'd want the meat we buy to be raised in sanitary, humane conditions because we're going to be eating it!

And we'd certainly want to be able to hire enough food inspectors to avoid deadly food poisoning, as was the case with Colorado cantalope last year.

This would be assuming we actually view people as the human capital that we absolutely rely on, every day, to show to gas up our airplanes, deliver our food, stock our shelves, and care for us when we're sick.

Three hundred billion dollars spent with those things in mind could go a long way towards making us a healthier nation.

Contact your Congressman. Then let's see what happens.

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