Our food system is broken, and it didn’t happen by accident.
Rampant consolidation in the food industry has left control of much of our food in the hands of a few large firms which serve as a bottleneck between 2 million farmers and more than 300 million consumers. Farmers receive lower prices for their products while consumers face higher prices at the grocery store.
As more farms bow to the economic pressure to “get big or get out,” intensive production practices, like raising livestock on factory farms, put public health and the environment at risk.
More and more, consumers are seeking alternatives to the industrial food system. Sales of organic foods have skyrocketed in recent years, and new farmers markets are sprouting up across the country.
But we can’t just shop our way out of this problem. While we work to restore links in our local food systems that bring farms and consumers together, we need to fix our broken food policy at the federal level.
Our next farm bill should ensure fair markets for farmers and re- build regional food systems that consumers need to reconnect with healthy, fair food. Take action and write Congress to demand a fair farm bill now.