The Pulse: Farm Bill's final days

September 2013
September 2013: Farm Bill's final days
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Dear Friend,

The $11 Trillion Reward

It's no secret—the American diet of unhealthy, processed foods is killing us. More than 725,000 Americans die from heart disease and stroke each year. We can shrink this number through healthy eating, but we need our government working for—not against—us. Our new report, The $11 Trillion Reward, shows just how damaging current U.S. food policy is—favoring cheap, processed foods over fresh fruits and veggies—and what we can do to improve it. Check out the report, share it on Facebook and Twitter, and read on for more important updates! —Karla


Science in Action

Act now for a healthier Farm Bill

DEADLINE: Act now for a healthier Farm Bill
There are just days left to win support for healthy food and sustainable agriculture in the Farm Bill, which sets U.S. food policy for the next five years. Despite the importance of this legislation, Congress is locked in ideological battles that threaten to derail chances to pass this legislation before the current law expires at the end of the month. If this happens, programs that support healthy food and sustainable agriculture will suffer the most. If you've already contacted your elected officials, now is the time to contact them again. Tell Congress: The time is NOW to pass a Farm Bill that puts healthy food and farms first!

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Cartoon of the Month

 

Links for You

Gridlock: The Farm Bill
Click to view larger image.

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 Take a trip to the farm of the future—check out our interactive, sustainable farm!

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 Did you hear the one about Monsanto winning the World Food Prize? See why we think it's a bad choice.

 Can public health tip the balance of power in favor of the good food movement?

 

Ask a Scientist

Jeffery O'Hara

Jeffrey O'Hara
Agricultural Economist

"What is UCS doing to encourage American farmers to grow more vegetables and fruit that would be healthier for our diets given that so many of them are dependent on government subsidies to grow commodity crops like corn and soybeans?"—Lanni Isenberg, Newton, MA

It is not an accident that the U.S. agricultural landscape looks the way it does. Farm policy plays a critical role in influencing which crops are grown. Today, excessive subsidies are directed to "commodity" crops such as corn and soybeans that are used as animal feed and ingredients in processed junk foods. At the same time, as I describe below, federal farm policy restricts fruit and vegetable production. To make matters worse, significant obstacles exist in some communities for those wishing to use nutrition assistance benefits to buy healthy food at local markets. MORE

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This Just In

Watch: The real cost of junk food

WATCH: The real cost of junk food
If Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables a day, we could prevent 30,000 deaths each year. The benefits of healthy eating are clear, yet our government spends billions subsidizing processed foods like chips and soda that undermine our health, while fruits and vegetables get very little support. Watch our new video to see just how damaging current U.S. policy is—and what you can do to change it. MORE

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