Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling – NYTimes.com

Within the bill is a significant shift in the types of farmers who are now benefiting from taxpayer dollars, reflecting a decade of changing eating habits and cultural dispositions among American consumers. Organic farmers, fruit growers and hemp producers all did well in the new bill. An emphasis on locally grown, healthful foods appeals to a broad base of their constituents, members of both major parties said.

“There is nothing hotter than farm to table,” said Representative Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican from a district of vast cherry orchards.

While traditional commodities subsidies were cut by more than 30 percent to $23 billion over 10 years, funding for fruits and vegetables and organic programs increased by more than 50 percent over the same period, to about $3 billion.

via Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling – NYTimes.com.

(emphasis mine, above)

No no no NO ….. The New York Times, of all the snobby and pretty boring people in the world, misleads horribly in this story about the new federal farm bill.

Look at the highlighted section.  The farm bill has, and always has, rewarded producers of commodity goods (read:  corn and soybeans).   The subsidy for these is ten times the subsidy for fruits and vegetables, and so it’s hardly feasible to raise fruits and vegetables, again.  If you have a bad weather year, there’s just not  a lot of farm subsidy to keep the price to a level where you’re going to break even.  It’s risky.  Thus when you drive from east to west across the girdle of the US …. holler when you hit the first field that’s not corn or soybeans, please.  It will be a long time coming.

All this commodity subsidizing does is makes it compelling for mega industrial farms to raise more and more corn and soybeans.  Because there’s always a market for it, because America loves to shop the center aisles of the grocery store and grab a bunch of different combinations of corn and soy, flavored to resemble food.

These farm bills’ funding typically is extended to go out several years.   So we’re stuck with what we knew would be the status quo, again.  The ONLY way out of this is for you, the consumer, to vote for fruit and vegetables with your grocery dollars.  Even better, try to buy from people you could conceivably get to know, rather than the industrial food complex.  Even better than that, buy from somebody you ARE getting to know, and try your hand at growing a bit for yourself, it’s easy, rewarding, very cost efficient, and a great form of real exercise.

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