6) Members of Congress and Absentee Landlords Benefit from Farm Subsidies
With tight budgets and the federal deficit driving the 2012 farm bill debate, it makes as little sense to continue farm subsidy payments to absentee landlords living in Manhattan and Miami as it does to continue sending tax dollars to profitable agribusinesses.
Many of the lawmakers who will eventually vote on the next five years of federal farm subsidies are themselves collecting those checks – even ardent Tea Party types.
7) The Outsized Carbon Footprint of Beef
EWG research gave consumers their first comprehensive look at the impact that meat, eggs and other foods have on our health, the environment and climate. The Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health, endorsed by Chef Mario Batali and food author Michael Pollan, found that lamb, beef, pork and cheese generate the most greenhouse gases, and that 20 percent of the total is the result of food waste. The analysis prompted more than 41,000 EWG supporters to take the pledge to eat less meat every week.
8) The Demise of the Direct Payment Farm Program
Thanks to the drive to slash the ballooning federal deficit, Congress is on the verge of eliminating direct payments to growers. The move would open the door to shaping a federal farm policy that levels the playing field for all farmers. But direct payments won’t go away quietly. Lobbyists are already lining up on Capitol Hill to pull off a bait-and-switch scheme that would ensure that agribusiness continues to get billions of federal subsidies in the form of revenue insurance instead. All eyes will be on commodity title reform in 2012.
9) Schools Can Still Count Pizza Sauce as a Vegetable. Wait, what?