A bill to help America's farmers, perhaps at the expense of the American waistline. It's called the farm bill, but it might better be labeled the food bill or, the subsidy bill. Whatever you call it, it's the multi-billion dollar spending bill that affects everything from the price of potatoes to food safety and it's up for renewal in Congress.
Once every five years, Congress is called upon to set priorities for what America grows, what America eats.
The farm bill s the $200 billion dollar behemoth that has traditionally subsidized five big commodity crops - corn, wheat, soy, cotton and rice. There are no subsidies for fruits and vegetables.
Now a growing movement suggests there is an unhealthy alliance between those traditional commodities' subsidies and overweight America. The abundance of cheap soy and corn making potato chips, soda and junk food cheap are making Americans fat.