A colleague of mine, the ever-generous and thoughtful Steve Poftak, forwarded a few “crappy food” alternative resources to me this morning. The first, a very interesting farm that delivers produce to specific pick-up stations in the Boston-area, would certainly offer a solution to my can’t-get-out-of-the-city-to-get-good-produce conundrum. The second, an editorial in the New York Times from yesterday by Michael Pollan, has some very timely tidbits, which certainly compliment the content of his book (I include a few meaty clips below). And the third is another Pollan article, yet again in the New York Times, and also worthy of a read.
Here are a few clips from Pollan’s editorial in yesterday’s New York Times:
“Americans have begun to ask why the farm bill is subsidizing high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils at a time when rates of diabetes and obesity among children are soaring, or why the farm bill is underwriting factory farming (with subsidized grain) when feedlot wastes are polluting the countryside and, all too often, the meat supply. For the first time, the public health community has raised its voice in support of overturning farm policies that subsidize precisely the wrong kind of calories (added fat and added sugar), helping to make Twinkies cheaper than carrots and Coca-Cola competitive with water. Also for the first time, the international development community has weighed in on the debate, arguing that subsidized American exports are hobbling cotton farmers in Nigeria and corn farmers in Mexico.
“…We would not need all these nutrition programs if the commodity title didn’t do such a good job making junk food and fast food so ubiquitous and cheap. Food stamps are crucial, surely, but they will be spent on processed rather than real food as long as the commodity title makes calories of fat and sugar the best deal in the supermarket. We would not need all these conservation programs if the commodity title, by paying farmers by the bushel, didn’t encourage them to maximize production with agrochemicals and plant their farms with just one crop fence row to fence row.
“And the government would not need to pay feedlots to clean up the water or upgrade their manure pits if subsidized grain didn’t make rearing animals on feedlots more economical than keeping them on farms. Why does the farm bill pay feedlots to install waste treatment systems rather than simply pay ranchers to keep their animals on grass, where the soil would be only too happy to treat their waste at no cost?”
Good stuff, manure processing and all.