Michael Pollan on The Farm Bill: New Film From Nourish (VIDEO) | Civil Eats

Michael Pollan on The Farm Bill: New Film From Nourish (VIDEO)

Every five years, we have the chance to influence the way our food is produced, our land is conserved, and our health is protected. The legislation that addresses these issues is known as the Farm Bill, and in 2012, it’s up for renewal. “It isn’t really a bill just for farmers,” says food journalist Michael Pollan, in this video from Nourish Short Films. “It really should be called the food bill because it is the rules for the food system we all eat by.”

The potential to improve our current food policy is currently being challenged by a select group of Senate and House agriculture committees who propose $23 billion in cuts to federal spending on some of the most important programs related to nutrition and the future of small-scale, local, and organic farming. The 2012 Farm Bill could be rewritten as early as November 23. It’s vital that these issues be debated in a public forum, not behind closed doors.

Take Action Today
There is still time to participate in the fight for reform that supports new farmers, provides infrastructure for regional and local food development, and protects our health and precious land.

Here are some ways you can get involved in influencing the 2012 Farm Bill:

Call. Take 30 seconds to call leaders of the House and Senate ag committees and say NO to the “Secret Farm Bill.” Over 27,000 people have done so already using the Food Democracy Now call script. You can also support the development of local and regional farms, farmers, and retail markets by asking your two senators and your representative to co-sponsor the Local Farms, Food, and Jobs Act.
Meet. To date, there are over 7,000 farmers markets nationwide. Get to know your local farmers. Listen to their stories. Ask them questions about the Farm Bill. The more you understand about the challenges that small-scale farmers face, the larger your role can be in supporting their farms and marketplaces.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Explore. Find out about programs intended for inclusion in the 2012 Farm Bill. Learn about the new Beginning Farmer and Rancher Opportunity Act, which supports novice farmers by creating jobs, affordable farmland, and farmer training programs. Or read about the pre-existing Wetlands Reserve Program, which has improved watershed health and secured protection and restoration for 11,000 private landowners on 2.3 million acres of land over the past 20 years.

Review. Learn a brief history of the Farm Bill to understand key programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which currently represents more than two-thirds of the Farm Bill funding and faces multibillion-dollar cuts.

Originally published on Nourish

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Stacey Slate is the former deputy managing editor of Civil Eats and community manager for the Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley, CA. She is currently helping to build edibleschoolyard.org, an online network to connect teachers, parents, and advocates of the edible education movement and to encourage them to share best practices and curriculum. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    More from

    Farm Bill

    Featured

    A contract chicken farmer raises chickens under the tournament system

    Op-ed: It’s Time to End the Poultry Industry’s Exploitative Contracts

    Most chicken growers must compete in a tournament system that pays the top producers using money that would have gone to pay the lowest producers. The DOJ is putting a stop to the practice for some farmers—and now the USDA has a chance to follow suit.

    Popular

    The Field Report: What the Historic Climate Bill Means for Farmers and the Food System

    Flooded fields in winter

    Are Criollo Cattle a Regenerative Solution to a 1,200-Year Megadrought?

    criollo cattle grazing

    22 Solutions-Focused Stories on the Food System in 2022

    Abby Barrows pulling up one of her experimental oyster bags made of metal and wood at Long Cove Sea Farm. (Photo credit: Greta Rybus)

    Op-ed: Farmworkers Face Stress and Depression. The Pandemic Made It Worse.

    Migrant farm laborers have their temperature checked in King City, California. (Photo credit: Brent Stirton, Getty Images)