Elected Officials Must Prioritize Food Policy

Throughout the primaries, conventions, and now leading up to the general election, we have heard a lot about the presidential candidates. We’ve heard a lot about emails, national security, character traits, and a host of other topics. But not nearly enough about food and farming.

As the HEAL Alliance explains:

Our food system is controlled by a handful of powerful corporations that wield undue influence over the system. They support policies that benefit their bottom line and squeeze out local and regional farms and food businesses. And because food touches every aspect of our lives, these corporations exert influence on a wide range of health, environmental, agricultural, trade, and labor policies –and on the politicians who draft them.

Plate of The Union...The next President of the United States will oversee a new Farm Bill, the legislation that sets significant portions of our domestic food policy including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), conservation programs, and farm subsidies. Current subsidy programs favor large-scale growers of commodities like corn and soybeans. It is essential that we shift more financial resources to small-scale regenerative farmers who grow food that is healthy for people and the environment.

The next President will also need to address the climate crisis. Industrial agriculture (the type reinforced by the current Farm Bill as well as trade policies like the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership) is a top contributor of climate changing emissions. But farmers who practice agro-ecology have the potential to sequester carbon, mitigating climate change rather than contributing to it.

For these reasons, among others, we need the candidates to prioritize food policy.

That is why a coalition, including the HEAL Alliance cited above, is calling for the next President to prioritize food policy and take steps to transform our system.

The President’s role in setting priorities for the nation cannot be underestimated. But action at all levels of government are important. Here are a few other opportunities to take action:

69 thoughts on “Elected Officials Must Prioritize Food Policy

  1. Sustainable practices in farming involve being honest about the poisons of large scale agriculture. Please raise our minimum wage, as our country is falling behind in the global world.

  2. It is time to shift more financial resources to small-scale regenerative farmers who grow food that is healthy for people and the environment.

  3. Grocery store shelf space is also a big issue. Large corporations buy the shelf space, which is partly why so many stores don’t offer much in the way of fresh organic and “real” local produce.

  4. Support bills that keep our foods safe, that treat food workers justly, and address environmental issues. Put people ahead of profits.

  5. Please keep the Food sources clean and unadulterated. Stop the waste and chemical/pesticide/herbicide toxins out of the food

  6. Your ComKeep Food clean and unadulterated. Stop all the chemicals and food adulteration.

  7. A government’s primary responsibility is foster to the health and general well-being of its citizens, and in every way our country has been getting it wrong since Reagan. We MUST have fair pay, fair trade and a healthy, sustainable food system — not more pandering to grillionaires that causes everyone else to suffer.

  8. Be a fair trade lealderl!!! Enact state purchasing policies that prioritize food that is healthy for people and the planet.

  9. PLEASE prioritize human and environmental health when crafting & enacting food, agricultural and environmental policies. Please set an example as a Fair Trade leader. Think fewer toxins, less processing, more accessibility and ultimately a transformation to sustainable farming not dominated by a few companies that profit enormously from toxins. Save our soil, save our food, respect humanity, support a Fair Trade world & America will remain the great place it is. THANK YOU!!!

  10. I don’t support your proposal because i’m not a US citizen, I am Italian and live in Milano, postal code 20143. This number is the cause of an unpleasent misunderstanding. I continue to receive emails and requests of money from US politicians. At the beginning I supported Bernie Sanders because I like him very much. But now I cancel almost all the emails without open them. I am your follower on Twitter from about two or three months.

  11. We have given all of our manufacturing to China and now we’re at odds with them. The trade deal was good for whom, exactly? We now have to ship our meat to China where they feed their own people poisonous fake foods, for God’s sake!!! Please, be on the side of the people and bring food processing back to the United States!! We made sure that food is safe. Please, make sure that free trade is in the health and safety for the American people as well as the world, and put more money into the hands of the working people by raising the federal minimum wage. Thank you.

  12. Would be nice to get back to a grass roots sort of system. I am tired of government making choices for me.

  13. Rather than favor large-scale growers of commodities, it is essential that we shift more financial resources to small-scale regenerative farmers who grow food that is healthy for people and the environment.

  14. A fair world demands a fair economy, and a fair economy demands a fair wage. Vote for raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.

  15. Food policies must be a priority. Our lives and the life of our planet depend on your devoted attention!

  16. Please raise the federal minimum wage, putting more money in the hands of low-wage workers and empowering them to access more healthy and sustainable foods that are currently largely out of their reach. And please be a fair trade leader, enacting state purchasing policies that prioritize food that is healthy for people and planet. As a country, we need to shift our policies away from corporate control back to caring for our citizens. Only in such a way can we hope to be of help to other people on the planet.

  17. Malnourished people are liabilities, healthy people are assets. On of the best things we can do is insure the maximum of helathy,educated, and happy people.Your Comments

  18. I didn’t read it and I should have. We need to change subsidies so they support healthier eating and more distributed, small farms.

  19. farming should be the choice of the farmer – not big business taking control. Big business is ruining the environment and our health. Julie Griffith

  20. I hope I can count on you to support these critical, multi-pronged policies to make life on our planet sustainable.

  21. We need protection from the influence of big business over our food. We also need to support and protect family, organic farms every day.

  22. The availability of good quality food and support for people and the planet are all important and must all ne supported.

  23. Our food and agriculture system NEEDS to change, for the betterment of small farmers, families, and the Earth. We cannot allow big corporations to control everything. We need to focus on organic, traditional, regenerative agriculture and making the meat industry humane, natural, and healthy again.

  24. We need to prioritize and change our inferior food system. Taxpayer-funded subsidies support large industrial farms that produce crops that are processed into cheap, nutrient-deficient, addictive junk foods that result in obesity and other chronic health disorders that often require lifetime expensive treatment. Industrial agriculture depends on toxic pesticides in increasing amounts and combinations to combat pest/weed resistance and synthetic fertilizers that pollute streams and rivers (and drinking supplies). We are rapidly losing valuable top soil. Industrial livestock operations produce huge amounts of toxic waste. Many of our farmers are nearing retirement age. We need to support more small, local farmers using sustainable (regenerative) agriculture and make their products more accessible to local communities, especially the poor who too often live in “food deserts” (little or no fresh produce). A healthy nation depends upon healthy citizens. We pay more attention to what fuels our mechanical engines that what fuels our bodies. Our government should stop supporting unhealthy food production — subsidies and government purchases should go to those farmers growing/raising healthy products in sustainable ways.

  25. I’m sick of eating foodstuffs full of crap that the chemical companies have invented. Does anyone in politics care that we’re not eating real food anymore?

  26. Tell your governor to be a fair trade leader, enacting state purchasing policies that prioritize food that is healthy for people and planet.

    Tell Congress to raise the federal minimum wage, putting more money in the

  27. I want to join those calling for the next President to prioritize food policy and take steps to transform our current system that overwhelmingly favors large-scale commercial commodity growers.

    The next President’s role in setting priorities for the nation cannot be underestimated, and I call on candidates to prioritize good policies. But action at all levels of government and by all elected officials is important.

    States can be fair trade leaders, enacting state purchasing policies that prioritize food that is healthy for people and planet.
    Congress can raise the federal minimum wage, putting more money in the hands of low-wage workers and empowering them to access more healthy and sustainable foods that are currently largely out of their reach.

  28. People are having a hard time making it with the wages they receive. In the long run, it would save the government money as less people would have to apply for federal or state help.

  29. Political officials are not doing enough to make the safety of our food & water the priority it needs to be.

  30. We need chemical free organic food, and it needs to be regulated with high standards. Saying Chicken is organic because because they recieved 20 minutes of sunshine is NOT organic.. All produce needs to be organic.. Non organic, GMO, and processed foods are deadly over time.. Bring back real farms so they can also make a living on what they sell.. The goverment hikes up the cost to the consumer for their gane, not the farmers or the buyers.. It is unreal that a professional athlete makes so much money for having fun, and enjoyment for those who love watching, but seriously, get your priotities straight.. We the people are depending on a goverment that’s all about making money for themselves.. All jobs/work is important.. We need to work as a team and not favor the rich business over those who can only work part time so they can also raise their children.. We need to look into the future for us, and the next generations!!!

  31. Everywhere American grocery carts are filled with the Sad American Diet foods. How can this still be happening?

  32. We all want to have pure, healthy food to eat. For this to happen we need to support small farmers– and not agribusiness– and we need to raise the minimum wage so that all can afford to buy healthy food.

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