Monday, November 5, 2007

Weed it and reap

I kept the original title, parce que c'est tres witty.

"The explanation for this is straightforward. We would not need all these nutrition programs if the commodity title didn’t do such a good job making junk food and fast food so ubiquitous and cheap. Food stamps are crucial, surely, but they will be spent on processed rather than real food as long as the commodity title makes calories of fat and sugar the best deal in the supermarket. We would not need all these conservation programs if the commodity title, by paying farmers by the bushel, didn’t encourage them to maximize production with agrochemicals and plant their farms with just one crop fence row to fence row.

And the government would not need to pay feedlots to clean up the water or upgrade their manure pits if subsidized grain didn’t make rearing animals on feedlots more economical than keeping them on farms. Why does the farm bill pay feedlots to install waste treatment systems rather than simply pay ranchers to keep their animals on grass, where the soil would be only too happy to treat their waste at no cost?" (thanks D.)

Excellent article if you want to understand the way farm subsidies work in the US. This is relevant to ll of us, because it is those same subsidies that determine the fate of many farmers in the developing world, and of course the copycat lifestyles of many people in the world.

1 comment: said...

Hi there...I really like this post. I completely agree with you! It's infuriating. Oh the American Government.

I am a journalism student at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and I have to write a story on people from Beirut that come to America to escape the violence.

I was wondering if you, or anyone you know has sought refuge in the U.S.?

Thank you very much for your time.

My email is