Archives for February 2014

U.S. Lets 141 Trillion Calories Of Food Go To Waste Each Year

Calorie Wasteby ELIZA BARCLAY    

The sheer volume of food wasted in the U.S. each year should cause us some shame, given how many people are hungry both in our own backyard and abroad.

Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has provided us with a way to understand our flagrant annual waste in terms of calories, too. It’s pretty mind-boggling — 141 trillion calories down the drain, so to speak, or 1,249 calories per capita per day.

And if we could actually reduce this staggering quantity of food waste, the price of food worldwide might go down, according to a report from researchers at USDA’s Economic Research Service, Jean Buzby, Hodan Wells and Jeffrey Hyman.

 

 

Read more at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/27/283071610/u-s-lets-141-trillion-calories-of-food-go-to-waste-each-year

Farm bill: Why don’t taxpayers subsidize the foods that are better for us?

BRIAN STAUFFER Washington Post february 18, 2014Farm Subsidies

Read the farm bill, and a big problem jumps right out at you: Taxpayers heavily subsidize corn and soy, two crops that facilitate the meat and processed food we’re supposed to eat less of, and do almost nothing for the fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to eat more of. If there’s any obligation to spend the public’s money in a way that’s consistent with that same public’s health, shouldn’t it be the other way around?

The problem dates back to the bill’s inception in the 1930s, when farms raised livestock and grew a mix of crops, including staple crops (corn, wheat, oats, barley) and what the bill calls “specialty crops” but what the rest of us know as fruits and vegetables.

From the 1930s to 1980, subsidies alone weren’t substantial enough to significantly change the mix of crops on farms, according to Vincent Smith, professor of economics at Montana State University and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “In 1980, we introduced crop insurance subsidies of substance that began to change the ways in which farmers manage risk, and to discourage diversification,” he says. And then we increased them until they became very substantial, and farmers, at least to some extent, farmed to the bill the way teachers teach to a test. Read more at http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/food/farm-bill-why-dont-taxpayers-subsidize-the-foods-that-are-better-for-us/2014/02/14/d7642a3c-9434-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html