September 30, 2011

Big Ag Strikes Back

It's not enough that we eat their products, but we are supposed to love them too.

Worried, apparently, by bloggers, book authors, and documentary-film makers, "Big Ag" organizations like the National Milk Producers Federation ("Got Milk?") and the American Egg Board, have formed the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance in "a bid to 'reshape the dialogue' about the American food supply." 

Conspicuously absent: organic farmers.
The battle is over more than labels. Also at stake is the $25 billion annual budget for discretionary spending by the Agriculture Department, and crop subsidies worth even more. Bob Stallman, chairman of the Alliance, is also president of the American Farm Bureau, the farmers’ main lobbying group in Washington. 
In his column in the current issue of Colorado Central magazine—not yet available online—Colorado food writer Hal Walter suggests, "Eating may be more effective than voting."

"Start by voting with your fork," he continues. "Every dollar you don't spend with big food is one dollar that doesn't feed the beast, and instead nutures both your community and yourself."

I have been picking up copies of his free publication about independent, mostly organic farmers and ranchers in Colorado's Arkansas Valley this summer.

Call The Farm Beet, it is also available from his web site.

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