Food and Agriculture

We need to fix our broken food system—and science can help us do it. UCS food experts highlight solutions to ensure that every American has access to healthy, green, fair, affordable food.


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What’s the Difference Between Food Stamp Abuse and a First-Class Exposé? Race.

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Yesterday, at a House Agriculture subcommittee hearing, lawmakers engaged in a debate over something called “broad-based categorical eligibility.” Put simply, it’s a legal provision that allows low-income people who qualify for one social assistance program (like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) to more easily qualify for another (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP or food stamps). Read more >

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He’s a Science Denier—and He Oversees the Nation’s Farm Policy

, Director, Food & Environment

The pattern is clear: by consistently requesting that Congress cut budgets for science, and by decreeing that all federal executive agencies arbitrarily terminate “at least one third” of their advisory committees, the Trump administration is in an all-out war against science—against the premise that evidence and analysis should inform policy-making. Read more >

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U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue takes a big bite out of his bacon cheeseburger at the Discovery Elementary School cafeteria, in Arlington, VA. Photo: USDA

Secretary Perdue is Moving The Cheese and It’s Not Good For Any Of Us

, Economist

In a recent interview by the North Carolina News and Observer, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue discussed the current proposal to relocate the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) outside Washington DC. When asked if he was worried about employee backlash he replied, “anytime you make change or move people’s cheese, there’s always anxiety.”

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Photo: USDA
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Will the Trump USDA Deliver on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Our New Report Shows What’s at Stake

, Food Systems & Health Analyst

Sixty percent of adults the United States are now living with one or more chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. That’s 150 million people—not counting millions of children and young adults—whose daily lives are disrupted by poor health. These chronic conditions are the leading causes of death and disability, and they’re also the leading drivers of the $3.5 trillion we spend on health care each year. Read more >

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Photo courtesy of 401kcalculator.org/Flickr

“Big Food” Companies Spend Big Money in Hopes of Shaping the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

The maker of Snickers, M&Ms, and Skittles has built a global conglomerate on sugar. The privately held Mars Incorporated let it be known earlier this year that it hopes to double its $35 billion annual revenue over the next decade, reportedly through expansion in pet food and other areas. But for now, confectionery treats are a main business, which could be why the company spent more than $2 million, in 2018 and early 2019, lobbying Congress around the federal government’s nutrition advice, among other food policy issues. Of course, it’s also possible Mars has a more socially responsible motive, which I’ll get to in a minute. Read more >

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