Don’t think the farm bill (currently up for its 5-year revamp) affects you? As this handy article by Michael Pollan points out, the farm bill is really an eater’s bill, and the current setup is fanning the flames of the country’s high-fructose obesity epidemic. It’s also an environmental bill, driving what happens to almost half of the privately owned land in America. And it’s an immigration bill, as it pushes down the price of U.S. farm products, driving small farmers in Mexico and elsewhere off their land (and, often, across the border into the U.S.). So, if you think that the price of Twinkies should not be so, well, artificially low in comparison to vegetables, or if you’re concerned with whether or not factory farms are pouring chemicals into our land or water, check out Pollan’s article.
Then go to Bread for the World to read about how the farm bill – as-usual – is no picnic for U.S. farmers either. (And for a view on how trade organizations and agreements – such as the WTO and CAFTA – affect farmers in other countries, see World Market 101 in this month’s Sojourners.)
Elizabeth Palmberg is Assistant Editor of Sojourners magazine.