Food Sol sponsored Food Day on October 24,2011. A start up in Babson College, Food Sol, works to identify "food deserts". Cofounder Rachel Greenberger is leading this group in finding solutions to global food safety and scarcity.
Food deserts aren't just found in third world countries. Some American inner city neighborhoods have no grocery stores offering fresh fruits and vegetables. Residents have no choice but to buy food at a gas station. It's not right that most people accept the idea that good, healthy food is for rich people.
Getting food from the farm to the table is a fragmented and confusing process. The USDA's My Plate diagram looks healthy, but may still be outside the reach of many Americans.
22% of U.S. children in 2011 lived in homes that could not provide them with "adequate, nutritious" food. Tthe U.S. Agriculture Department's Economic Research Service says "While the majority of Americans have consistent, dependable access to nutritious food, food insecurity ... continues to be a challenge among certain low income households at times during the year." This statistic is a disgrace.
The My Plate is divided into 1/2 fruits & vegetables, 1/3 grains and 1/5 protein, with a smaller circle for dairy. This visual is simple and easy to understand. Take a look at your plate and match it up. Is something not right?
Federal food incentives affect food supply and don't match with the nutritional guidelines by the USDA. $200 billion was spent to subsidize US commodity crops from 1995-2010.
* $67 billion for animal feed crops, tobacco and cotton * $50 billion for human food crops that became sweeteners * $12 billion for crops to turn into ethanol * $ 5 billion was paid directly to land owners who grew commodities in 1985.
Farmers who grow fruits, vegetables and free nuts receive no regular direct subsidies. Small programs aid apple farmers and the government sometimes buys excess canned produce for school programs and emergency food banks.
It is estimated, that if Federal food subsidies followed the USDA guidelines, 13 million more acres of fruit and vegetable crops would be planted each year. The Washington Post states 'It seems that commodity subsidies are incompatible with USDA's eating guidelines".
Federal commodity subsidies can influence and encourage healthier diets by ending some incentives or incentivizing healthy foods.
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