Once you begin buying local and organic produce you cannot help reading more articles about government subsidies to our farmers. Naively I thought organic farmers received a good chunk of grants to encourage local economies. After reading the Environmental Working Group article about the upcoming Farm Bill vote I was surprised to learn most of the grants are going to farms growing soybeans and corn. Coincidentally those crops are gaining momentum through GMO (genetically modified) cultivation with Monsanto’s fertilizers. It certainly sounds like big business to me, definitely not what I thought the Farm Bill was intended to subsidize.
This article also provides a “zip code look-up” to see who in your area is receiving the government grants. I also looked at the principals of the “farms” receiving the grants and was not surprised to see several companies with the same last names in different corporations. If you would like to voice your opinion regarding the upcoming vote on the Farm Bill there is also a link for that. No matter what your reason for reading this article, it is definitely interesting….
From Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group:
Environmental Working Group just released the latest update to our Farm Subsidy Database and it’s ruffling some feathers.
Why? Once again we’ve exposed the fact that our government is doling out subsidies to big farms that don’t need the help and a lot of folks who don’t live anywhere near a farm. (Don’t believe us? Try entering 90210 in our database and you’ll meet the “Farmers of Beverly Hills”.)
Saying this is a waste is putting things mildly.
The farm bill, really it’s a food bill, that Congress writes and passes every five years is a critical piece of legislation that determines whether we can put affordable, healthy organic food on our table. But as the millions of dollars in government payments to city slickers shows, the system is broken.
Just think: All this money could be used to encourage more organic farming, protect the land and the environment, and feed low-income families and children who depend on government nutrition programs with healthy, unprocessed food.
If you’ve ever wondered why organic food can be hard to find and usually pretty expensive – I hope you’ll check out some of the resources we’ve pulled together to help you better understand the farm bill, the subsidies and the impact they have on your life and food choices.
Click here to see our farm bill resources page.
Farm Subsidy Widget and Database: This handy tool is a great way to find out who the actual recipients of farm subsidies are. I guarantee the results will surprise you. Everyone from Scottie Pippen to U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann are getting a piece of the pie. Try using the widget to enter your own zip code and see who has received these subsidies. You can get even more information at our Farm Subsidy Database.
Make You Angry? Then stand up and take action! Tell Congress that you want your taxpayer dollars to go toward sustainable farming practices and growing healthier food for all Americans. We’ll deliver your signatures to Debbie Stabenow, chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee.
The farm bill is a key part of our food system. All of us will benefit from the wise and fair distribution of our tax dollars, so please, make your voice heard today!