The Real Cost of Food

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

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The Real Cost of Food

In 1936, President Roosevelt launched a program to reward farmers for shifting from soil-depleting crops (corn, tobacco, wheat, and cotton) to soil-conserving crops (legumes, vegetables, and grasses).

But even with a drought in 1936 and the creation of a program paying farmers not to grow crops and instead put their land into conservation status, there was a failure of the conservation program to bring about crop reduction.

In following years, farmers requested help or adjustments to subsidies from the federal government during each drought, flood, or economic crisis.

At the same time, lobbyists for chemical companies demanded their employers’ shares of the pie in an ongoing push-pull struggle leading us to our problems today.

After World War II, farmers and government officials worried high wartime production and productivity gains would mean a return to surpluses and depressed prices.

More schemes were implemented to keep farmers from growing too much food.

In the mid-1950s, Congress created an even farther-reaching acreage reduction program called the soil bank.

By 1957, more than 21 million acres were put into reserve.

But we still hadn’t cut production enough.

The food surplus was so high by the 1960s it reached crisis proportions.

President Kennedy established programs directing farm surpluses to the poor and needy.

He also initiated the food stamp program and extended the school lunch program to take advantage of all the extra food.

By the late 1960s, the surplus problem was being solved by shipping our extra food overseas.

As chemical inputs and agricultural production continued to grow, the amount of farmland for sale also increased.

Exporting food temporarily propped up prices until those bubbles burst as well, forcing the government to subsidize prices even more so farmers could continue to sell their products overseas at lower and lower prices.

In 1970, Congress authorized payments to beekeepers who’d suffered losses of honey bees as a result of pesticide use near where the beehives were located.

Sound familiar?

Exports were booming in the early 1970s, and for a single year in 1973, demand for food finally caught up with supply (which hasn’t recurred since).

President Nixon’s secretary of agriculture encouraged farmers to plant “fence row to fence row.”

He also infamously stated, “Before we go back to organic agriculture, somebody is going to have to decide what 50 million people we are going to let starve.”

He later resigned, but not before he’d cemented the chemically dependent corn-based production system we have today.

Crop prices rose so high the price of farmland soared, but farmers were overcapitalized.

By 1978, the bubble burst and farmers won a $4 billion emergency loan program and a moratorium on Farmers Home Administration foreclosures.

In 1980, President Carter suspended farm exports to the Soviet Union in retaliation for its invasion of Afghanistan.

In 1982, a new acreage reduction program was again put in place as farmers were directed to cut the amount of land they cultivated by 10-15% in order to receive price supports.

The PIK (payment-in-kind) program was also developed that year to cut production even further.

Farmers signed up in droves and left idle a total of 82 million acres, the largest amount of land ever taken out of production.

In all, enough land was removed from production to cause concern in the producers of chemical fertilizers about the effects of PIK on purchases of supplies and equipment.

Remember, these are the same folks who were (and still are) telling people and farmers they need to buy their fertilizers so we can feed the world.

The conclusion of this official report, which covers only the years before the GMO invasion, says price support programs have changed comparatively little in their 50 years of existence.

Price supports were designed to address the ability of farmers to produce far more than can be consumed at home or sold abroad.

Similarly, a DuPont Farm Chemical brochure from the 1950s stated each American, each year, uses the output of 7.4 acres of land to fulfill his needs.

A Japanese is fortunate to use less than a quarter-acre.

But more land and the fertility of the soil give only part of the answer.

The real difference is the American farmer, unlike his brothers in the world’s more backward areas, brings to the furrow the massive thrust of technology.

Ah, the good old days.

Back when the Japanese were the enemies, and before we knew they lived longer, healthier lives than we do.

Back before the internet, when people believed everything advertisers told them.

Back when all the farmers were men.

Wait . . .  has anything changed?

Come join me on my weight loss journey!  I’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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If you’d like to read Organic Manifesto, go here Organic Manifesto: How Organic Food Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe

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Dick and Lenay

email: lenay@dickandlenay.com – 715-431-0657

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join me on my weight loss journey here – http://bit.ly/13lxgzD


 

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