Friday, July 27, 2007


Another note related the e-mail in opposition to the proposed farm bill.

“Moreover, by disproportionately subsidizing corn, wheat, and soy, the current Farm Bill encourages us to eat cheap, unhealthy, and fattening processed foods instead of fresh fruits and vegetables. As writer Michael Pollan puts it, "the reason the least healthful calories in the supermarket are the cheapest is that those are the ones the Farm Bill encourages farmers to grow."

It is true that many versions of farm programs reduce risk and increase the price farmers receive for their crops. This would have a supply effect making corn, wheat, soy, and meat products less expensive. However, commodity prices make up a very small proportion of the price we pay for food in the grocery store.

Farmers grow corn, wheat, and soybeans because they are food staples, not because congress legislates it via farm programs. Fruits and vegetables, which are not staples but make healthy supplements to our diets, will always be more expensive because they are riskier and more labor intensive among other things. Farm programs that encourage grain crop production have no effect on this.

With advanced genetics corn, wheat, and soybean products are actually becoming healthier and better for the environment. Vestive soybeans have healthier oils, low phytate corn reduces animal waste and groundwater pollution, Bt corn exhibits lower levels of carcinogenic mycotoxins.


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