What Kind of Public Investment Would You Like to See in Our Food System?

Send us your thoughts and we may print them in the Readers Speak section of the next issue of For a Better World

Federal, state, and local government agencies spend billions of dollars a year in ways that affect our food system.

At the federal level, the Farm Bill is responsible for about $10billion in government spending each year, 80% of which goes to supplemental nutrition program (SNAP) recipients, the rest to farms and farmers, especially those who grow commodity crops like corn and wheat. A relatively small portion supports organic farmers and conservation programs. Some people have advocated for less money to go to commodity crops, which largely go to feed animals or make processed food, and more money be allocated for organic food, farmers who grow a diversity of crops, or farmers who set aside portions of their farm for wildlife habitation.

At the state level, governments spend money on school food. In Michigan, K-12 public schools spend about $200million on food and public universities spend another $2million. A growing movement across the country is advocating that money for school lunches (along with other government-run programs like public senior centers) be spent on food from sustainable farmers and processors who use healthy ingredients and fair labor practices rather than awarding contracts to vendors who can provide the cheapest food at the expense of human rights and the environment.

Your state may also have a Buy Local program promoting small-scale or local sustainable growers. Your farmers market may offer reduced prices to SNAP recipients. These are also examples of government spending affecting our food system.

What else have you seen that works? What would you like to see? Send us your thoughts! With so much public money affecting our food and agriculture system, this is an important conversation. Your voice is important.

Comment below or email [email protected] to join the discussion!

Food System

Posted on: November 29th 2016

6 thoughts on “What Kind of Public Investment Would You Like to See in Our Food System?

  1. Most definitely I want to see more money invested in regenerative agriculture such as Allan Savory’s Holistic Management which can rapidly sequester carbon; develop fertile, nurturing soil; preserve and restore moisture in areas when rain falls; and grow the healthiest plants and animals including humans who eat them! See Allan Savory’s TED talk; see the two videos produced under the name “Soil Carbon Cowboys”.

  2. I agree with Ruth. Regenerative agriculture is the only way to go Organic and Biodynamic certifications are a start. We need to stop feeding our children poison and compromised nutrition sources. We can start small by having each school or school system grow some of its own food in which the children share in the responsibility. This will form the base building block that will teach children skills they can add to in their later years. This is how we change society and form a lasting sustainable food system based on the will and skills of the people and not by corporate profit mechanisms reinforced by our government producing food that is unhealthy and contaminated with poisonous chemicals. It is time to be smart consumers and not victims.

  3. I would like to see our tax dollars go to farmers that are producing organic products who also treat animals with dignity and respect which means grass fed and free range. I don’t want to subsidize big agriculture that uses GMO’s, Roundup seeds or any other kinds of crap that is not healthy for our environment or consumers. It’s time we got back to basics and not stand for the non food that they are trying to push on people. We also need to have the products marked clearly if there are ANY GMO’s in the product and not a bar code. People without smart phones have no way of finding out. While we are at it, no foods should be dipped in chlorine! I have read that even some organic chickens are dipped in chlorine. Absolutely no chemicals should be tolerated in our food, water or air. Talking about Chem-Trails. These people should be prosecuted!

  4. The public investment has to be participation , not just a re allotment of funds. EVERYBODY creates kitchen waste , for instance, ALL of which has to be composted and returned to the soil. if all the organic waste we produce were composted and returned to the soil there would be no need for chemical , oil based fertilizers. all farm animals must be raised naturally , eating what they are SUPPOSED to eat without the saddition of vaccines hormones genetically manipulated materials of any kind. then all the animal waste would be a welcome addition to a healthy living soil.
    We can ALL do this. we ALL have a hand in healthy agriculture . look at a forest . nobody waters or fertilizes it . everything that falls from above naturally composts back into the soil returning all it’s nutrients back into the land .
    STOP putting that miracle grow crap on your lawn. STOP burning your leaves . STOP putting your food waste down the garbage disposal. START gardening the way EARTH does it – pay attention to what that means …..
    We are putting fake fertilizer in the vast majority of our farmland , WASTING the real fertilizer we create , submitting ALL our carbon into the air rather than back into the soil , and as for the geoengineering folks , the gmo people – We have to stop them , somehow. They are quite simply insane and have no understanding of or interest in how the WORLD , how EARTH works….start a worm farm ! Grow effective microbes ! compost everything ! know from inside how it’s all supposed to work – and DO it.

  5. The future of healthy nutrition lies in regenerative agriculture, agroforestry, and increased education about the merits of these processes and the dangers of the toxins used in so many pesticides and fumigants. In addition, increased awareness of the potential risks of GMOs needs to be widely dispersed.

  6. Our children and elders should have public food programs from regenerative agriculture for their sake and ours!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *