According to NPR's food blog, The Salt, the local food movement looks like much more than a passing fad. An analysis by the United States Department of Agriculture reported that American farmers (those local men and women we're always talking about) are selling $4.8 billion in products in local markets, which is great news and a ton of money. Except when you realize that it's only two percent of total American agricultural sales. What's the 98 percent? Commodity crops like soybeans and corn.
Commodity crops and the US Farm Bill are connected like peanut butter and jelly. The Farm Bill is up for renewal in 2012 and could be rewritten as early as November 23, 2011, according to our friends at Nourish. From the Nourish blog:
The potential to improve our current food policy is being challenged by a select group of Senate and House agriculture committees who propose $23 billion in cuts to federal spending on some of the most important programs related to nutrition and the future of small-scale, local, and organic farming.