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The Food Party!

By Laura Stec

E-mail Laura Stec

About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Farm Bill Cafe

Uploaded: Apr 2, 2018

After an early-year hiatus it’s time to start Food Partying! again.

Are you hungry?

It’s good to take a little break at year’s dawn. Get away from the daily hurl-and-whirl. Slow down and refill the inspirational pitcher. But after lying on the low, I’m ready for some political passion in this era of action. Maybe you too? Have you thought about food stirring you toward revolutionary ardor?

If so, join us in a read of:

Food Fight
The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill

Dan Imhoff

and get your activism humors revved. The Farm Bill is the largest piece of legislation governing the U.S. food supply and nobody knows anything about it. Passed every 5-7 years by Congress, it deals everything Department of Agriculture, and chooses the foods that will be plentiful and cheap. Turns out what we want to eat for best flavor, health and the health of the planet, and what our Farm Bill tax dollars subsidize, are DIFFERENT ways of eating.

What they tell us to eat, and what they fund, are completely opposite.

The biggest supported commodities are the junk food crops, specifically corn, soy and wheat, which supply the fats needed to grow factory-farmed animals, the sugar for our high-fructose corn syrup-filled sodas, and the flour for our snack addiction. The current Farm Bill is why highly-processed crap in the grocery store is cheaper than fresh fruits and vegetables (still considered a specialty crop in the bill). By funding the production of too much corn, soy, wheat and animal products en mass, the Feds subsidize obesity and diabetes.

2018 is renewal year for the Farm Bill, and the first time since 1954 that the Republicans have the White House and Congress during it’s debate and passing. Plus, we have a Secretary of Agriculture who looks like he hasn’t eaten a vegetable in years.

Time to pay more attention.

Until a new bill passes (later this year, early next???), The Food Party! will be reading, meeting (if you’d like to join us in person, let me know) and writing about the book, the bill, food systems change, our legislators and what we want them (and us) to do. This will include good bottles of wine as incentive by the way, supporting the Food Party! philosophy - if it ain’t fun, it don’t get done!

So get your copy online (cheap - $5) or from the library and join this community effort. Start reading chapters 1 - 3, and we’ll talk about it in a few weeks here on the blog.

For more info on the Farm Bill, check out the National Sustainable Agricultural Coalition.

Tastefully yours.

- graphics from Congressman Earl Blumenauer's comic book, The Fight for Food

What is it worth to you?


Posted by Roy Kornbluh, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 2, 2018 at 9:54 am

Thanks for bringing up this important but often overlooked issue. I look forward to hearing more on this topic. For now I will simply say that, ultimately, we all "vote" with our wallets. Buy the kind of food that you want to see sold.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde,
on Apr 2, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Buy the kind of food that you want to see sold . . . if you can afford it.

Posted by welfare queens (and kings), a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda,
on Apr 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

Welfare for agri-business to poison our kids with junk food? Gotta stop.

Posted by Thanks!, a resident of Woodside: Woodside Heights,
on Apr 5, 2018 at 7:02 am

Thanks! I'll get the book. I wanted to learn more about this bill.

Posted by Elaine, a resident of another community,
on Apr 5, 2018 at 11:43 am

I have always wondered how a plain apple can be more expensive than potato chips that have had so much processing and packaging done to them. And how will Trump's new trade war will effect the farmers? I have read the first two chapters of Imhoff's book and look forward to discussion followed by action.

Posted by Wendy Smth, a resident of College Terrace,
on Apr 5, 2018 at 7:09 pm

The Farm Bill is the Farm Subsidy Bill. It subsidizes big agriculture. Sugar, corn, pork, beef, dairy etc. Unless Congress has had a change of heart there is nothing in the bill that assists the small farmer, the organic farmer, the local farmer. If you want to end the big ag subsidy system and have your tax dollars go to the small organic farmers, or go to helping farmers keep organic land in production, or go to sustainable organic research then contact your senators and representatives in Washington and let your voices be heard. Nancy Polosi is a good place to start or Anna Eschoo.

Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Apr 6, 2018 at 9:45 am

An interesting comment from a neighbor in Portola Valley:

"Was wondering whether the escalating tariff tit-for-tat will affect the re-election prospects for Rep Devin Nunez in Calif District 22?"

Web Link

The ag products from District 22 are:
Web Link

Posted by Laura Stec, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Apr 7, 2018 at 10:22 pm

Laura Stec is a registered user.

I'm pumped to see all y'all Food Partiers! out there ready to eat and read. Let's go give em'heaven.

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