What’s at Stake — Our Food Policy Debrief
We’re bringing food and policy to the center of the table. These governing policies are not often top of mind — but today we want to reflect on the confusion and uncertainty that impact food and our community. Education and awareness are cornerstones of our company (check our Dig-Isms) and they’re a big part of how we’re able to bring such bounty to your bowls.
Here’s what’s going on:
01. Immigration in the Food System
Immigrants currently make up 20% to 50% of our country’s agricultural workforce. This represents over 1.25 million folks who work to put food on our tables. (Not to mention how many avocados cross the border each day — nearly 70% of the country’s daily intake.)
Food for thought: How do proposed immigration policies impact farms’ abilities to continue agricultural production?
02. Farm Bill
Since 1933, The US Farm Bill has governed the overarching policies surrounding how we grow and eat our food, tackling everything from how much farmers are paid to funding of agriculture research and commodity subsidies. The past few Farm Bills have proudly invested in local and regional food systems — investments crucial to the slow food and farm to table movements.
Food for thought: How can the Farm Bill support more small- and mid-size farms? Should the Farm Bill invest in urban agriculture?
03. Climate Change
The agriculture industry is responsible for about 10% of US greenhouse gases causing climate change. Both consumers and Capitol Hill need to take action and help farms of every size shrink their carbon footprints. Farmers should also be equipped with resiliency plans in case of climate-related disasters.
Food for thought: How can we empower more farmers to invest and learn about climate resilient farming?
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps millions of low-income families afford to put healthier food on their tables. Currently, 1 in 10 Americans rely on the SNAP program and most Americans can agree the program needs a modern revamp.
Food for thought: Should lawmakers separate the SNAP program from the Farm Bill? Should we expand usage of SNAP benefits with online retailers?
05. Food Safety
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates and inspects most things we consume in order to guarantee their safety. The regulatory function of the FDA expanded considerably after the thalidomide tragedies in the 1950s.
Food for thought: During our current technological revolution, should we make it easier for new companies to market new drugs and medicines?
Farmers and foodies on both sides of the aisle are concerned by proposed policies that could threaten the ability to sustainably grow and feed; policies that influence the diversity of our land, our crops, and our labor. In the upcoming months, one of the most important things we can do is keep our ears and hearts open to one another.
We welcome all thoughts and feedback — so we’re asking those of you with questions and solutions alike to reach out to [email protected]. Regardless of where you stand, your voice will be heard — you’re a part of the fa(r)m too.