On American Food Policy (It currently sucks)

I can’t say that I know much about US food policy, but this commentary by Joseph Stiglitz shines a light on things south of the border. The farm bill used to be a benefit to the farmers in the past by helping them during difficult times and was one of the ways more food (and more affordable food) was made available to the American public. But now, the farm bill has morphed into a way for large food corporations to pay farmers less for their product – letting the taxpayer subsidize the farmers’ income while the food corporations make higher margins on the processed food. Then on the consumer side of things, funding for food stamps is decreasing for the next several years. The consumer and farmer are getting screwed while the food corporations are making all of the gains. What inequity.

A related film that I recently had the chance to watch is A Place at the Table, which highlights that many people in the US face hunger on a daily basis, even if it seems like they have a stable job and income. It’s a sad state of affairs. Synopsis (via Wikipedia):

As of 2012, about 50 million Americans were food insecure. This was approximately 1 in 6 of the overall population, with the proportion of children facing food insecurity even higher at about 1 in 4. One in every two children receive federal food assistance. The film sees directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America, largely through the stories of three people suffering from food insecurity:

If you can find the film, it’s worth watching.