Misleadingly referred to as the "Farm Bill," this legislation doesn't benefit the family famers who grow the bell pepper and squash in your stew. The beneficiaries of agricultural subsidies laid out in this legislation are the corporations that convert crops like corn into corn syrup and soy into feed for the cows and pigs who end up in a McDonald's wrapper.
The result is an artificially controlled market that floods grocery stores and eateries with foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and high fructose corn syrup. These are exactly the types of food we should be avoiding if we want to stay healthy.
When Sarah Palin complains about the "Nanny State," I wonder if she's aware of the tens of billions of tax dollars that dictate what food we can choose from at the grocery store. Consumer demand, not corporate interest, should determine what we can put in our shopping carts. And consumers want healthy food that won't lead to a double bypass.
In 2012, Congress has an opportunity to fix agricultural subsidies in a way that will help real farmers and every day people.
By reducing federal subsidies that boost the production of meat, dairy and high fructose corn syrup, and leveling the playing field for fruit and vegetable farmers, more Americans will be able to buy the wholesome foods they need to stay healthy.
An additional benefit to this reform would be that smaller farms that practice sustainable agriculture and better husbandry could more fairly compete with the notoriously destructive mega-operations.
Another benefit will be a savings in health care costs.