The Farm Bill
There is a bill in the Senate right now that is causing all kinds of buzz in the health and food world.
You may have seen buzz and talk of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, S510.
The health-food-junkies are up in arms because it regulates food safety, which is a concern for small farmers. There’s a lot of fear. Is big government going to step in and shut down the farmer’s markets? Will I be able to buy artisan cheese from a local creamery anymore? (There is an amendment to the bill that protects small farmers…if this amendment passes…)
On the other hand, there are many who are relieved that the government will finally be regulating the food in this country – myself included.There have been enough salmonella outbreaks where the source is traced, but no one has the authority to shut down the company from which the problem stems. This is an issue to be noticed.
The fact is, we have a broken system. But we have an enormous country with humongous farms and factories that make food for the majority of the population – and since they feed most of the people in this country, it is only right that they be regulated.
On the other hand, I don’t think that regulation is the answer to the food problem in this country. It is a step in the right direction for the mirth and mire that goes on in factory farms and factories, but it is still a mess.
The answer is that we need to be more involved in what we are eating. We need to be aware of the ingredients in our foods, and we need to know where our food is coming from. We need to get to know our local farmers and buy local and organic.
We need to eat better, and our forks will be the votes we need to make real change.
For more reading about this bill, read Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollen’s opinion piece in the the NYT and also this article in the NYT.
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