Every five years, the U.S. Congress passes a new Farm Bill. This significant land-use legislation has an impact on everyone – whether you are concerned about the nutritional value of school lunches, taxes, immigrant working conditions, biodiversity or access to healthful foods. The subsidization of certain food groups can affect the food market, defining the very foods we eat. For instance, because the Farm Bill favors the mass production of corn (used to make high-fructose corn syrup) it’s cheaper to buy calorie-laden processed foods than fresh produce. The good news is that Americans have a say in their food and farm policies. Awareness about food marketing, genetic foods, organic farming, and other food-related hot topics might make this the most contested Farm Bill yet.
Dan Imhoff is the author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill – he shares why the Farm Bill matters and explains the scope of this legislation, including where we go from here.
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