With high crop prices, high land prices and guaranteed business income thanks to federal crop insurance, farm businesses are doing very well, thank you very much. The Bloomberg news service reports that during this Great Recession, farm earnings in Iowa and across the U.S. increased eight times faster than non-farm wages from 2008 to 2011. Actually, farm businesses have been doing nicely even longer than that. Farm household income has exceeded average household income every year since 1996.
With only five legislative weeks left, Congress must vote to extend the farm bill, but it must do it in a way that reflects the nation’s spending priorities, supports family farmers and protects the environment.
The Mississippi River is alive again here as it flows through the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Once again, this urban river runs clear and its waters are a world-class fishery for walleye, sauger and small and largemouth bass.
Despite all the attention being paid to the farm bill by political candidates, the coming elections are not likely to be decided by agricultural policy positions. In the run-up to Election Day, you might think rural voters were looking for someone to blame for Congress’ failure to pass a farm bill.
Compared to the billions that the government pays to subsidize industrial-scale growers of commodity crops such as corn, rice and soybeans, federal farm bill spending to promote cultivation and marketing of healthy fruits, nuts and vegetables is tiny. The Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG) program is one of the more important programs to support these healthy foods, known also as “specialty crops”.
Corn ethanol boosters held yet another pep rally today (Sept. 27) for a dirty, inefficient fuel that has eliminated jobs, increased the price of food and gas, damaged engines and increased pollution. Yet it has replaced less than 1 percent of world oil.
There’s nothing to make you feel like a dope like a bunch of experts telling you you’re wasting your money by buying organic food. And after the recent review of the issue by Stanford University scientists made national headlines – with CBS Newsdeclaring that “organic food is hardly healthier” – I even got tough questions at home about why I’m spending our much-in-demand money on organics.
Tomorrow (Wed., Sept. 12), lobbyists for subsidized agriculture will hold a rally on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to pass a farm bill – any farm bill, even the terrible one produced by the House Agriculture Committee.
Guaranteeing a clean and ample supply of water should be at the core of our energy policy. Sometimes Washington seems to have forgotten that. But a recent survey shows that the American people have not.
Environmental Working Group’s researchers have created Good Food on a Tight Budget, a science-based shopping guide of the top 100 foods that are healthy, cheap, clean and green. Here are the files for our webinar.
The Environmental Working Group’s new food guide can help. The guide shows shoppers how to manage their grocery costs while reducing their exposure to toxic chemicals and rediscovering the savory pleasures of nutritious stews, soups and salads.