After writing my blog post Changing the Sad American Diet, I realized how complex and controversial a topic this was. Just go to the comments on my blog post to see what I mean. I may never understand or know all the complexities of this issue, but I do know one thing, we need to do something different than what has been done in the past. The Farm Bill is coming up for reauthorization in 2012 and WE HAVE TO ACT NOW.
The American food system is failing. The situation we are now in is a deplorable combination of clueless legislators in Washington, greedy corporate executives, and mega farmers who have lost their way. How do we know the food system is failing? Just take a look at how unhealthy Americans are.
In 2005–2008, based on fasting glucose or hemoglobin A1C (A1C) levels, 35 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 years or older had pre-diabetes—50 percent of adults ages 65 years or older. Applying this percentage to the entire U.S. population in 2010 yields an estimated 79 million American adults ages 20 years or older with pre-diabetes.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2008 indicate that 33.5 percent of US adults greater than 20 years of age have hypertension.
Fully 33.7 percent of US adults are obese. Men and women of all race/ethnic groups in the population are affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity.
These statistics go on and on and it isn’t bad genetics. This is a result of what they are eating plain and simple. It’s also an issue of lacking access to real food.
We need to reeducate people about real food. That is part of my mission statement for this blog. People are disconnected from the source of their food. Being so, they will accept laboratory made grocery store items that are hygienically packaged with a pretty picture on the box. Maybe it’s a picture of a farm, or cows in the pasture. Anything to make it look natural. But nowadays even the word “natural” is an oxymoron. It’s anything but!
If we can make changes to the Farm Bill it can help in many ways.
For consumers it means better food choices, easier access and more local suppliers. This translates into local economic stimulation.
For the farmers it means that pricing will be fair so that they can actually earn a living rather than be dependent on subsidies from the government.
For the land it means a full blown effort to shift to more sustainable operations and stewardship.
Join the movement. A Movement for a Fair Farm Bill. The good folks at Food & Water Watch are taking this movement on the road and they need your help! They are going across the country for better food and a fair Farm Bill. There will be Farm Bills in 20 states over the next 30 days!
Sign the petition and show support for this effort.