Well, there are many systematic causes of food insecurity in our world, such as contradictions in food production, policy, and distribution that are often regulated by FARRM. For example, even as we cannot feed people in our own country, the United States feeds much of the world through the trade and export of our agricultural surplus. See my small list below of other systematic causes, to name a few...
“The word bipartisan means some larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.”
Bipartisan = both political parties agree!
A Few Systematic Causes of Food Insecurity:
Today, FARRM has incredible power and control in many aspects of public health and our local, national, and global food systems. This is important policy for all of us to at least kind of understand so that we can begin to advocate for the well-being and sustainability of humans and the environment! Let’s start with HISTORY to get some basics -------------------------->
History of FARRM
Imagine yourself living during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930’s. The U.S. was in social, economic, political, and environmental upheaval. Overproduction of crops, surplus commodities, collapsing agriculture prices, and high levels of unemployment across the country led the government to enact a series of reactionary laws and programs. Enter the first FARRM. This legislation was originally called the Agricultural Adjustment Act and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. The intent of the bill was to support failing rural economies by:
Today, FARRM has purposefully been turned into a large, intimidating, and complex mass of national food and agriculture policies. It is reauthorized every 5 to 7 years. While the latest reauthorization was muddled with conflict on all sides, politicians ultimately pushed through the FARRM Act of 2013, all 15 titles in tow. Please scroll through the document below to check out specific Titles and the policies they cover:
FARRM to Health
Until the latest reauthorization in 2013, FARRM has been considered a bipartisan bill suggesting a “political marriage” of farm and food policy to work together to address concerns about nutrition and support rural health. But this time, the House of Representatives wanted to separate SNAP from FARRM, which was met with stern objections from many leaders. Some sources of conflict included the high cost of SNAP at a time when deficit reduction is needed, and assumptions about the worthiness of SNAP recipients. Chances are many of us know people who use SNAP because, in 2012, 46.2 million people, or about one in seven Americans, were enrolled in SNAP to meet their food needs. Nearly 50% of these beneficiaries were children. Below are some interesting links to FARRM policy and news within the Senate and House of Representatives:
To be honest, part of me was a little disappointed when SNAP did not split from FARRM because I saw this as an opportunity for the largest nutrition assistance program to move into a more appropriate committee, such as the United States Department of Health and Human Services. However, this is not reality. So, perhaps we have to work together to create new opportunities for FARRM to act as a public health tool by strengthening environmental protection and fighting for social and economic justice. We can do this at the local level by taking control of our own food system again through local community gardening and agriculture!
Digest this Factoid:
The American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest farm lobby, is one of the biggest supporters of SNAP! They strongly encouraged law makers not to split SNAP from FARRM legislation during the reauthorization, because less money going to individuals and families through SNAP is not in the best interest of corn farmers and big businesses - because consumers will have less money to buy what is affordable – processed, sugary, fatty foods.
Thank you for reading. Don’t forget to buy your tickets for TGP’s Food For Thought Film Fundraiser!!! Hope the rest of this lovely short month flies by, ushering us into spring with energy and joy!
 American Public Health Association. (2012, June). The Farm Bill and Public Health: A Primer for Public Health Professionals (Issue Brief No. 202-777). Washington, DC: Elliott, P. & Raziano, A.
 Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. (2012). SNAP to Health: A Fresh Approach to Improving Nutrition in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Retrieved from http://www.snaptohealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/CSPC-SNAP-Report.pdf
 Weisman, J., & Nixon, R. (2013, July 11). House Republicans Push Through Farm Bill, Without Food Stamps. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
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