Food and Farming
At first blush, you might think that “Dave’s Hot ‘N Juicy” is the title of a pornographic movie. Actually, it’s only a hamburger.
You may wonder why President Barack Obama is so intent on passing a free trade agreement with Colombia. One answer is simple enough: Big Agriculture.
In the corporate world’s tortured language, workers are no longer fired. They just experience an “employment adjustment.” But the most twisted euphemism I’
d heard in a long time comes from DuPont: “We are investigating the reports of these unfavorable tree symptoms,” the pesticide maker recently stated.
Food safety is running afoul in Springdale — in more ways than one. First, meat and grain agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a salmonella outbreak and temporarily shut its turkey processing plant in the Arkansas city in early August. Then, a Tyson Foods driver died after being pinned between two truck trailers outside a Springdale poultry plant.
The U.S. food system has a new bedfellow, and it may already be on your plate.
Thanks to decades of deregulated agriculture, markets for corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and other farm commodities have become high-stakes casinos. If family farmers are to be stewards of the land and safe, nutritious local supplies of food are what we want, then we must implement tried and true policies of supply management and conservation.
McDonald’s should heed a call from some of the nation’s leading health professionals and stop marketing junk food to kids.
Americans are becoming too familiar with imported foodborne illnesses. Remember the tainted dog food from China and those salmonella-laced hot peppers shipped from Mexico? Now a virulent strain of E. coli is racing across Europe, possibly heading toward our shores.
My plan is modest, universal, and foolproof. If the nation were to embrace it, we’d not only cut health care costs in half, our budget deficit would shrink to the equivalent of spare change. This is my plan: Stay healthy.
Barack Obama’s trade policy, as embodied by the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, sadly resembles that of George W. Bush. It promotes export growth and investment at the expense of local economies and resilient food systems. This is unfortunate, not only because it fails to deliver the “21st-century” trade agenda President Obama’s promised on the campaign trail, but also because it ignores some of the key lessons from NAFTA and the 2008 global food price crisis.