Food and Farming

The Ethanol Industry’s $6 Billion Christmas Gift

The Ethanol Industry’s $6 Billion Christmas Gift

Who needs $6 billion? I do! Especially during the holiday season when I try to balance my budget and ever-growing Santa wish lists. I can also tell you who doesn’t need $6 billion this year: big oil and gas conglomerates. They just got a little extra via the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC). If you can believe it–this tax credit–one of the best examples of wasteful spending out there–was attached to the tax cut deal President Obama negotiated with Republicans.

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School Lunch Victory

Thanks to the tireless efforts of thousands of people who are working hard to get America’s schools to serve healthier food, including First Lady Michelle Obama, the $4.5 billion “Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act 2010” prevailed in the lame-duck session of Congress. The new law marks a key step toward potentially transforming the food served in America’s public schools.

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We Can’t Afford Cheap Meat Anymore

Most Americans view cheap meat as a good thing, but they generally don’t understand who pays the high cost of the policies making it inexpensive. More than 80 percent of the beef, pork and poultry consumed in this country comes from livestock fed and processed by only three meatpacking companies: JBS-Swift, Cargill and Tyson. Through deregulation and antitrust practices, these companies have been allowed to devour smaller companies that both feed and process meat

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Food Shouldn’t be a Poker Chip

Food Shouldn’t be a Poker Chip

This Thanksgiving, most farmers around my hometown in central Minnesota are celebrating a good harvest. Rain–for once–fell at the right time in the right amounts, and prices for many crops grown in Litchfield are high.

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Sweet Tomato Victory

Some of America’s worst-paid and least-protected workers have scored agreements with two of the nation’s largest tomato growers after a 15 year labor dispute. They even got a long-overdue apology.

“In a free society, few are guilty, but all are responsible,” explained Jon Esformes, operating partner of Pacific Tomato Growers, the first to ink a deal with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. “The transgressions that took place are totally unacceptable today and they were totally unacceptable yesterday.”

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