CityViews 10/24/11: Food Policy: Supporting Healthy Foods and Local Farmers

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Segment 1:

It’s no secret that the federal government subsidizes farmers to grow corn, soy, wheat, cotton and rice – commodities that encourage processed food diets. But what if that money went to support healthier options like fruits and vegetables, and to shore up small and medium farmers instead of big agribusiness? On Monday, Jennifer talks with local experts about sustainable food policy and what they’d like to see in a new and improved farm bill.

Guests:

Salt Lake City is hosting a community forum on the federal farm bill tonight, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m., City Library Auditorium, 210 E. 400 S., Salt Lake City. KCPW will broadcast the forum live starting at 7 p.m.

Segment 2:

When abused and neglected children become wards of the state, they need all the help they can get. State officials are trying to recruit more CASA volunteers to help advocate for the best interests of children working through the courts.

Guests:

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Comments
  1. The first segment was an excellent discussion of the problems facing today’s agriculture. Your question of whether the farmer needs the government help was excellent, and elicited an great discussion of the big picture. The discussion about how small subsidies are as a portion of the Federal Farm Bill was enlightening. Even if it did not include the food stamp and energy production portions, the bill is likely to include regulations that would impede the small farmer and favor big agribusiness. Mr. Parker’s discussion of the land problem and of the regulatory impediments was excellent. As Ms. Pierce mentioned, knowing that the food is what it purports to be is important. But this desire by the consumer often results in the accomplishment of a different goal. The Michigan Cottage Food Law is an example of how wrong a foods bill can go. The bill appears to be a well intentioned regulation purportedly designed to help the consumer and small farmers, but may well drive the small vendor and farmer out of business. Hopefully, Utah can avoid such a result.