Like most Americans, I don’t know much about the multibillion-dollar Farm Bill, which is up for renewal this year. NYU professor Marion Nestle talks about its enormous complexity in the Boston Globe.
“I’d like to bring agricultural policy in line with health policy. Health policy tells us that we ought to be making fruits and vegetables inexpensive.” Her biggest concern is that those who produce and sell processed foods benefit most from current policy, which has had the effect of lowering prices for processed food and increasing the prices for the fresh fruits and vegetables people really need.
I have blogged before about the related problem of “food deserts,” localities where there is no reasonably priced market and people end up eating too much junk food. (Check out this post and this one.)
Today I would also like to point you to a National Public Radio story by Nancy Shute.
“Increasingly, metropolitan areas are creating or bolstering their food policies, recognizing the need to ensure that healthful and affordable foodstuffs are available for residents. Baltimore fashioned a food policy initiative in 2009 which involves multiple city departments and an advisory group of over 30 organizations. Priorities included the reduction of ‘food deserts’ and the support of projects that allow low-income residents to order groceries online and pick them up at the local library. New York and San Francisco have also created their own food policy initiatives, and mayors across the U.S. have met to launch a food policy task force.”