OPINION: New farm bill needs to create more competition in food industry
Kim Bayer’s recent article “Ann Arbor area events encourage participation in changing 'food culture'” addresses the growing disconnect between people and food. Whereas food culture used to be at the center of existence, we now find ourselves consuming food without knowing what is in it or where it comes from. The thriving local food movement in Ann Arbor is a great way to work outside the conventional system to maintain our community’s food culture. However, on a larger scale, it is also important to work within the system.
As Ann Arborites and Michiganders, we have unique opportunities to promote healthy, sustainable food both through supporting local food systems and reaching out to Senator Debrrie Stabenow, the chair of the Agriculture Committee in the U.S. Senate. The Farm Bill, the primary food policy tool of the U.S. government, is passed every five years and is up for review in 2012. This year’s Farm Bill should support healthy food for consumers by addressing the consolidation of food production by powerful agribusinesses and create more competition in the food industry.
Everyone who cares about preserving America’s food culture and ensuring access to healthy, sustainable, and affordable food for all Americans should call on Senator Stabenow to support a competition title in this year’s Farm Bill.