"At the heart of the sustainable-food movement is a belief that America has become efficient at producing cheap, abundant food that profits corporations and agribusiness, but is unhealthy and bad for the environment.
The federal government is culpable, the activists say, because it pays farmers billions in subsidies each year for growing grains and soybeans. A result is an abundance of corn and soybeans that provide cheap feed for livestock and inexpensive food ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.
They argue that farm policy — and federal dollars — should instead encourage farmers to grow more diverse crops, reward conservation practices and promote local food networks that rely less on fossil fuels for such things as fertilizer and transportation."
Andrew Martin, New York Times
I am a fan of the sustainable food movement, but (and it's a big but)... I believe it is incredibly important to make food affordable for everybody. I think everybody is entitled to good, healthy, food. I also believe that the subsidies that large, corporate farms get encourage them to make the biggest profit for the least amount of money--and it is a detriment to the health of us all.
I also believe that our schools (public schools) have the worst nutrition and food choices available. Vegetarian options in my school district (the 5th largest district in the United States) have cheese in every single option. White bread, greasy foods, and nothing tastes good. When my daughter was in school, the school cooked all of the foods (I don't know if this was the whole district or the fact that we live in a rural area, even though we are part of an extremely large district). Now, all the foods are processed and come in prepackaged containers. My son refuses to eat school lunches. My family is in the position that we can afford to send lunch every day, with healthy options--but we recognize that not everyone can do that. You almost can't beat the cost of school lunches, especially if you get subsidized or free lunch. Be that as it may, I think there is a way to get fresh, healthy food back in our school lunch rooms.
I don't have all the answers. Actually, I don't have any--but I recognize the problem. Food is essential to living. We need to figure out how to get back to basics and start eating real food that is REALLY good for us. All of us. Especially those of us with little money.