The Farm Bill: Food Policy in an Era of Corporate Power
Whether you buy food at a grocery store, a farmers market or a cafeteria, the next farm bill will affect what you eat. Congress is debating the policies that shape the quality and sustainability of our food, who grows and processes it, and how. The 2007 farm legislation also will determine who can afford to buy food and where. The Farm Bill: Food Policy in an Era of Corporate Power discusses food policy in an era of corporate power.
Stroll through a supermarket anywhere in the country and you will see the same or similar brands and selections, shipped across thousands of miles. But many consumers want alternatives to these packaged and processed personifications of today’s industrial food system. Instead, they desire fresh, healthy food that more and more family farmers are growing and raising with the wellbeing of nature in mind. What’s more, consumers want food from farmers markets and other local, direct-market venues.
But buying food from a farmer near you is only one step in an uphill battle. Unfortunately, U.S. policymakers tend to write rules that drive family farmers out of business, while using taxpayer dollars to subsidize mega-farms and the large, transnational and integrated food corporations collectively known as “agribusiness.” So, whether you buy your food with cash or food stamps, or grow it in your backyard garden, it is time to learn about the farm bill.