Food and Farming

Making a Statement with Our Tractors

Madison, Wisconsin is truly an amazing scene of beauty — as well as unprecedented political mobilization. Among the throngs of demonstrators, you’ll find Democrats, Republicans, independents, progressives, libertarians, and socialists walking together, discussing real solutions while sowing the seeds of solidarity.

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Squandering Our Tax Dollars and Ocean Resources

As concerns about the nation’s widening deficit grow louder, many of the Obama administration’s 2012 budget priorities are getting short shrift. It’s not only important to understand the government’s approach to hot-button issues like Medicare, military spending, and tax cuts for the wealthy. We need to pay attention to other critical issues.

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Unsafe at Any Exposure

As the radioactive contamination of food, water, and soil in Fukushima, Japan worsens, the media is continuously reassuring us that these levels are “safe.” But there is no safe level of radiation.

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China’s Wise Wheat Reserves

It’s fashionable to worry about China. One common fear is that China’s increasing demand for food will wreak havoc on international markets, causing mass starvation in food-importing countries. However, China uses safeguards to stave off food shortages. We could learn from its approach.

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Dairy Farmers vs. Commodities Traders

Despite treating her cows humanely, strictly adhering to milk production regulations, and carefully stewarding her land, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer I know is $70,000 in debt. She has no idea how she’ll repay her creditors or how much longer they will allow her to buy feed and other supplies before demanding payment. Without a fair price for her milk, she can’t accrue enough funds to pay off her debt. Most likely, she will have to sell her dairy cows and the family farm–the home and livelihood for her, her husband, and their children.

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End the Factory Farm Nightmare

Of course you want your meat to be cheap, but the costs of producing so-called cheap meat come at a hidden price you might not want to pay. Corporate giant Smithfield Foods and other major producers use what is known as confinement or factory farming–keeping billions of animals in cramped cages and pens where they are susceptible to stress and disease.

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A Climate-Friendly Farm Bill

We’re in a rut when it comes to taking action on climate change. Congress has stalled on passing climate legislation. International negotiators failed to agree on binding emission cuts in Cancun late last year. And it’s unclear whether the EPA will have the power to regulate greenhouse gases.

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