national food policy


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On October, Apples, and a Sustainable Food System

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

October is surely the best month of the year. From my closet emerge beloved boots and sweaters. And from my kitchen cabinets, baking dishes and heavy cast iron pans. With cooler temperatures and a bounty of fresh food in season, I want to cook again. And during this magical month, my kitchen plays host both to late-season tomatoes and okra and to fall crops including acorn squash and cauliflower. And, of course, apples—which is fortunate, because in a new video released today, UCS Fellow Mark Bittman is cooking up something simple but delicious with that October-est of fruits. Read more >

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Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore

How US Farm Subsidies Make Taxpayers Pay Twice (And How We Could Change That)

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Usually, when you buy something, you pay for it just once. But if you’re a US taxpayer, you’re paying twice for the food system you’re “buying” with your hard-earned tax dollars. An example: today’s massive federal farm subsidies encourage farming practices that lead to toxic algae blooms, drinking water pollution, and other costly problems we have to pay for again downstream. By contrast, modest investment in just one proven alternative farming system would achieve annual savings—in the form of water pollution averted—of $850 million. Read more >

Photo: Iowa State University/Lisa Schulte Moore
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Photo: US Department of Agriculture/flickr

Trapped in an Endless Cycle of Corn, Farmers Need Better Choices

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

Another July 4 has come and gone, and that old saying about a farmer’s corn this time of year (“knee high by the Fourth of July”) is a thing of the past too. Nowadays, the corn plants in many fields around the country are more like waist-high (or even taller!) in early July, and growing fast. But while a bumper harvest of corn seems like a good thing, the dirty little secret in corn country is that a glut of the stuff is wreaking havoc on farm families, on rural economies, and on all of us as taxpayers. Read more >

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Concerned Parents Dish on New Added Sugar Label

, science and policy analyst, Center for Science and Democracy

I was curious about what parents of young children had to say about the FDA’s new Nutrition Facts labeling rule, particularly the “added sugars” information. So I asked a few of my ‘concerned parent’ colleagues at UCS about FDA’s recent action and what it’s like navigating grocery store aisles with children’s health in mind. Read more >

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Congress Can Help Prevent Diabetes with Healthy School Lunches

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

From Freddie Gray to the Flint drinking water crisis, the reality of historic and systemic racial inequality in America is making headlines. Communities of color and low-income communities also face deep-rooted inequities in our food system, including unequal access to healthy foods. Cutting school lunches for millions of low-income kids would only exacerbate this inequality, but Congress seems poised to do just that.

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