Food and Farming
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.
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.
A Dutch entomologist has seen the future of food, and–surprise!–it’s not where or what you might think it would be. “The Netherlands,” the professor says, “wants to be in the forefront of food.”
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.
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.