farm subsidies

A Quote by Michael Pollan on farm subsidies, monoculture, corn, agriculture, industrial agriculture, food, and food supply

Beginning in the fifties and sixties, the flood tide of cheap corn made it profitable to fatten cattle on feedlots instead of on grass, and to raise chickens in giant factories rather than in farmyards.  Iowa livestock farmers couldn’t compete with the factory- farmed animals their own cheap corn had helped spawn, so the chickens and cattle disappeared from the farm. and with them the pastures and hay fields and fences.  In their place the farmers  planted more of the one crop they could grow more of than anything else:  corn.  And whenever the price of corn slipped they planted a little more of it, to cover expenses and stay even.  By the 1980s the diversified family farm was history in Iowa, and corn was king.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 38

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Michael Pollan on food, food supply, high fructose corn syrup, corn, health, subsidies, farming, farm subsidies, and george naylor

Corn is not the only source of cheap energy in the supermarket – much of the fat added to processed foods comes from soybeans – but it is by far the most important.  As George Naylor said, growing corn is the most efficient way to get energy – calories – from an acre of Iowa farmland.  That corn-made calorie can find its way into our bodies in the form of an animal fat, a sugar, or a starch, such is the protean nature of carbon in that big kernel.  But as productive and protean as the corn plant is, finally it is a set of human choices that have made these molecules quite as cheap as they have become: a quarter of a century of farm policies designed to encourage the overproduction of this crop and hardly any other.  Very simply, we subsidize high-fructose corn syrup in this country, but not carrots.  While the surgeon general is raising alarms over the epidemic of obesity, the president is signing farm bills designed to keep the river of cheap corn flowing, guaranteeing that the cheapest calories in the supermarket will continue to be the unhealthiest.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 108

Contributed by: HeyOK

Syndicate content