There’s a lot happening in the news right now that I’d like to sum up for you:
With the discovery of fraudulent organic fertilizers, and misleading statistics surrounding pesticide use, the sustainable food movement can seem a little trodden or disheartened. However, with the 2012 Farm Bill, there is the opportunity to really change policy around agriculture and, subsequently, the sustainability of our food system. One of the major ways that politicians are looking at this is through shifting farm subsidies. Mark Bittman makes a great case to change the way the money is distributed, rather than eliminating subsidies all together. It may involve redefining what qualifies as a family farm or small farm, or what crops are subsidized.
While policy change may seem unapproachable for many people, there is also the USDA’s new website: “Know your farmer, Know your food.” The front page’s slogan reads “Every family needs a farmer. Do you know yours?” which (for Chefs Collaborative) could be interpreted as “Every chef needs a farmer”. It serves as an information resource for grants and programs as well as a Farmer’s Market Locator which is particularly helpful as we work our way into Farmer’s Market Season.
It’s important to stay in the game and keep working towards a sustainable food system despite the challenges.
Katie Dolph is the Communications and Outreach Intern for the Chefs Collaborative.