“These subsidies are not about producing food.”

I’m reading a Grist article right now (aptly named Corn subsidies make unhealthy choices the rational ones) that’s chock full of excellent points, but this one’s my favorite:

In the end, these subsidies are not about producing food at all. They are about taking the financial risk out of a system that encourages fencerow-to-fencerow production of raw material for highly processed food — with deleterious effects on the environment and human health.

If you want to know why I’m so passionate about these issues (or if you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to listen to one of my commodity-crop subsidy rants) you should read this article.  Even if you don’t, it will give you pause.  $15.4 billion a year towards commodity crops while organics and vegetable growers get $825 million for promotion, nutritional programs, and then subsidies?  Billions of dollars in direct payments towards companies who aren’t even in the United States?

The system isn’t working.  Mitt Romney said that crop subsidies are a matter of national security, and I have to say that that’s one thing that I agree with him on (although I think we may mean different things when we say that).  We need to stop throwing money at unhealthy food that’s wrecking our bodies, our economy, and our environment.  We need to rethink the food system, and taking a good hard look at what (and who) we’re subsidizing is the perfect place to start.


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