Why is healthy food so expensive in America? Blame the Farm Bill that Congress always renews to make burgers cheaper than salad
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Fortune
Posted: July 31st, 2023
The 2023 Farm Bill is projected to spend $700 billion over the next five years, with powerful industry lobbyists directing funds to enrich themselves at the expense of agricultural communities, human health, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. It's far from its original intention: to help struggling farmers and hungry citizens during The Great Depression and Dustbowl. Most Americans have never heard of this massive omnibus bill, which Congress reauthorizes every five or so years. It shapes our food system–from subsidizing factory farms to funding food and nutrition programs, and it is why burgers are artificially cheap and salads cost more than they should. How did this happen? After World War II, to meet the needs of a booming U.S. population and a growing export market, the Farm Bill invested heavily in monocrops, including millions of acres of corn and soy, used to feed animals on industrialized farms. We subsidize the overproduction of fat-laden animal products and highly processed foods, making unhealthy food cheap and accessible. This contributes to heart disease and other chronic diet-related illnesses that cost our nation billions of dollars annually in preventable health care costs. Nine out of 10 U.S. adults do not consume nutritionists' recommended fruits and vegetables. The Farm Bill should invest in enterprises that act with integrity, not unethical profiteers who lobby for unconstitutional "ag-gag" laws that prevent free speech, transparency, and accountability.