The Farm Bill now in review is a comprehensive, massive $1.5 trillion bill which is renewed every five years, governing an array of agricultural and food programs. It sets the rules for farming, food production, and rural policies, influencing everything from what farmers grow to how food reaches your table. By subsidizing certain types of growing practices and a limited number of crops, the system has increased yields but at the cost of much damage to soils, watersheds, nutrient density, biodiversity. It has also ruined many multi-generational farm families who found their access to funding and markets increasingly shrinking.

This focus has consequences for the types of foods available in supermarkets, often emphasizing processed foods that are less healthy, less nutrient dense, often testing positive for traces of chemicals used in modern farming. There is a direct link between the Farm Bill’s influence on agriculture and the health crises facing many today, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

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Klaus Mager lives in Bend.

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As always, Klaus Mager is informative and insightful.

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