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What the Farm Bill Passage Means For Farmers and You

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 1 comment

Just days after the House passed a 939-page Farm Bill, the Senate yesterday approved the Bill in a 68-32 vote. Now the $956 billion Bill heads to President Obama for approval. He will sign the Bill on Friday, ending months of tension surrounding the most contentious Farm Bill in history. Here's how the Bill could affect you. More

San Francisco Proposes Soda Tax, Farm Bill Negotiations, and More in Food Policy This Week

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 6 comments

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner proposes a soda tax, Farm Bill negotiations are back on the table following a delay, cuts to the national food stamp program, and more in this week's food policy roundup. More

Banksy on Fast Food, Obama on the Farm Bill, and More in Food Policy

Leah Douglas 1 comment

A British garffiti artist takes aim at the food industry in New York, President Obama calls for a new Farm Bill, freak blizzards kill cattle in South Dakota, and more in this week's food news and policy roundup. More

Congress Moves Ahead on Food Policies

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 7 comments

Congress has a lot on its agenda, and several food policies are awaiting debate. What happened this week in Congressional food policy? $40 billion in cuts to the food stamp program was just the beginning. More

Restaurant Workers Strike, Fast Food Advertising to Kids, and More in Food Policy

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas Post a comment

Restaurant workers in 58 cities strike for higher wages, the Federal Crop Insurance Program payments reach and all-time record, and fast food companies continue advertising to children in this week's food policy roundup. More

Immigration Reform, Raisin Scandal, and More in Food Policy

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 1 comment

Senate passes a bill that could overall the immigration process for many seeking to live and work in America, a raisin grower takes his case to the Supreme Court, and more in this week's food policy news. More

House Passes Farm Bill Without Addressing Food Stamps Program

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 16 comments

We've written about the Farm Bill a few times in the past couple of months. The bill, which was due for renewal nearly 8 months ago, has been engulfed in controversy and bitter partisan debate as the House and Senate have been unable to reach a compromise on its final draft. Most recently, the bill scraped through the House after Republicans subtracted the food stamps program (SNAP)—the bill's most contentious topic—from the proposal altogether. More

Politics of the Farm Bill: Food Stamps Program Facing Budget Cuts

In Food Policy This Week: 5 News Bites Leah Douglas 2 comments

The Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), aka food stamps, together with nutrition programs, accounts for about 80% of Farm Bill spending. But though it's crucial to the well-being of millions of Americans, the food stamp program is facing significant cuts in this year's Farm Bill. Here's why. More

What You Should Know About the Farm Bill

Leah Douglas 8 comments

In a few months, debates will begin of the 2012 Farm Bill, the enormous set of policies that details agricultural activity in the United States. Hearings for the Bill began nearly a year ago, with testimony from citizens and organizations who felt compelled to share their outlook on farm policy. Soon we will begin hearing much more about the cost, impact, and ethics of this bill. So, before the debates kick into high gear, how about a quick history lesson? More

Proposed Farm Bill Supports Small Cheesemakers

Serious Cheese Jamie Forrest 3 comments

Cheeseheads unite! Late last week the Senate began discussing the $286 billion Farm Bill, and reports are surfacing that the current bill includes a plan for increased spending on, among other things, artisan cheeses. The provision, co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy of America's artisanal dairyland, Vermont, would help support this "promising new sector of the dairy industry." Unfortunately, the bill will probably not be passed in its current form, as the White House has threatened to veto it without significant amendments. Republican Senator Judd Gregg (NH) said, "I'm not sure many Americans would agree that stress assistance programs for farmers or artisan cheese centers are a good use of their hard-earned dollars." Hmmm, I guess he's not counting me!... More

Michael Pollan on the Farm Bill

Ed Levine 1 comment

In today's New York Times Michael Pollan nails politicians on both sides of the aisle for their collective abdication on the farm bill currently being debated in Congress. Once again (at least for the most part) the forces of regressive food policy, the commodity subsidies paid to agribusiness interests supported by entities like the Farm Bureau, have triumphed over the interests of eaters like you and me. But Pollan suggests that change is afoot, and the forces of farm policy evil are beginning to feel the heat.... More

The Subsidized Food Pyramid

Adam Kuban 7 comments

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has posted an easy-to-understand visual on its site that shows which foods U.S. tax dollars go to support under the nation's farm bill. It's titled "Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac?" and depicts two pyramids—subsidized foods and the old recommended food pyramid. It's interesting to note that the two are almost inversely proportional to each other.... More

In the News: Jamie Oliver's School Food Fails; U.S. Farm Bill Hits Snag; Cooking Mama 2

Adam Kuban 3 comments

Food safety concerns may stall farm bill: "Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she will block the Senate bill if it includes a House-passed provision that would allow some smaller meat processing plants to opt out of federal meat inspections in favor of state inspections. The bill hasn't even emerged from committee yet." [Associated Press] Food crises in Zimbabwe deepens: Bakeries are closing for lack of flour in the country once known as the "breadbasket of Africa." [Voice of America] Italians plan "vote" against genetically modified food: As opposition wanes in North and South American, Italy is hoping to renew Europe's stand against "Frankenfoods." [Reuters] U.K. egg supply threatened: If prices aren't raised, farmers say they won't have incentive to... More

The Farm Bill Needs You

Ed Levine 2 comments

"This is not just a farm bill. It's a food bill, and Americans who eat want a stake in it." —Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa After reading about the new farm bill before Congress, it's clear that food lovers everywhere need to do whatever they can to support this bill. Why? Because for the first time maybe ever the farm bill actually tries to do something for the people who grow our fruits and vegetables, the caretakers of our land, and for people who love food. Consider the coalition supporting the changes in the farm bill: Changes in the farm bill are being supported by the Bush administration and an unusual alliance that includes the American Heart Association, Environmental... More

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