Coalition Report


By Kathleen Logan Smith

Executive Director ; Missouri Coalition For The Environment

Do You Know

What You’re Eating?


What you eat affects your health. What is in the U.S. package of legislation collectively known as “The Farm Bill” also affects your health. It also affects your bank account, your water, your air, and the soil upon which agriculture depends. With so much health and tens of billions of dollars riding on a bundle of legislation that is reauthorized every five years, we all need to know more about it.

The documentary “King Corn” explored the Farm Bill’s influence in promoting corn syrup and its myriad incarnations, along with industrial pig, poultry and beef farms, and chemical agriculture. The book and documentary “Food Inc.” expanded the exploration far beyond corn to food safety, environmental impact, and availability. That is just the introduction to the Farm Bill.  There’s more.

The Farm Bill also plays a role in energy because it authorizes subsidies and incentives for ethanol and certain biomass fuels that affect energy markets. It shapes the future of agriculture through research projects and priorities. It provides crop insurance to farmers and price supports to entire industries. It also plays a role in rural development, wetland restoration, wildlife, and protecting native species.  It governs the school lunch program and it helps feed the hungry through the program we once called “food stamps”.

Do you know enough about the Farm Bill? 2011 is the year the 2012 Farm Bill will be debated, shaped, and twisted like taffy. The more Americans who are informed and engaged in the conversation, the more we can reduce the grip of special interests on one of our nation’s most important food laws. I invite you to join us from the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, here in the Healthy Planet magazine, as we share with you more about the Farm Bill. Through forums and articles we will help you understand the basics of this massive law and update you about its status in 2011.  Please stay tuned. This is one area where your attention is needed.


For more information on this and other important environmental issues and legislation, visit our website: www.moenviron.org.