The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past,
worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
_The Daily Tonic is a two to five minute read sharing science backed
health news and tips, all while getting you to crack a smile or even_ lol on occasion.
Thursday. Our broken food system is… brutally complicated. Kind of like navigating politics at a dinner party. Ok, maybe not that brutally complicated but you get the point.
So how did we get here? Farm subsidies are one of the reasons that often get thrown around as a big underlying contributor to where our food system is today. But what the heck are farm subsidies? Why did they start, how do they work, and most importantly—why are they still around? Let’s dive in.
Our Government Knows Exactly What It’s Doing
Ha! Speaking of politics, that was my attempt at humor. Moving on… Farm subsidies are federal crop insurance policies that were originally put in place following the turmoil of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. It was all put in place with good intentions—the government wanted to protect rural farmers and ensure a steady supply of calories to Americans at a time when hunger was a real issue. The way crop insurance worked back then was fairly simple—if demand for a commodity crop went down, farmers would get less for what they produced. In order to guarantee a living wage for farmers that were hard at work to feed the country, the federal government would step in if prices got too low, and pay the difference to help farmers out. It was a win- win. Americans got food and farmers got paid. Fast forward almost 100 years and these same subsidies are less of a win-win and more of a lose-lose-lose. Today, more than 300 million acres of land are covered under federal crop insurance policies, 39% of net farm income comes directly from these subsidies- and the kicker? 60% of that money is paid by the taxpayer, aka you and me. So what’s the problem? I don’t mind some of my tax money going towards supporting hard working farmers… Eh… if only that were actually the case. In yet another example of our federal government’s infinite wisdom, farm subsidies are still set up to incentivize the cultivation of monoculture commodity crops (soy, corn, wheat). This made sense 100 years ago, when calories were scarce and our country was starving, but spoiler alert—one quick look around will make it clear to you that Americans are no longer starving. We have plenty of cheap calories to go around these days. So guess who gets the bulk of this subsidy money? Not hard working farmers, but rather big agribusiness and wealthy landowners. Here’s a stat to make you cringe next time you see your federal tax withholding on your paycheck—between 1995 to 2014, 50 people on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans received more than $6.3 million in farm subsidies. And remember—all this financial incentive to grow cheap commodity crops isn’t doing our health or the health of our planet any favors. GMO soy and commodity corn are making us sick and monoculture farming is depleting the soil. It’s a true lose-lose-lose. The solution? Evade taxes and shop at farmer’s markets. Ok, obviously don’t evade taxes—that’s a crime—but shopping from your local farmer isn’t, so let’s start there.
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On Today’s Edition Of Hackers Hacking…
And the latest victim—Peloton riders. Turns out your $2,500 bike comes with creepy hacker access included. In a report released Wednesday, cybersecurity company McAfee discovered a vulnerability that allows hackers to access Peloton's bike screen and potentially spy on riders using its microphone and camera. That’s slightly terrifying. Maybe as the world opens back up, we can all spend some more time getting our fitness on outside, in the sun, and with other real people. Just a thought.
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- Need help finding your local farmer to support? Check out this website!
- Need a restock on your favorite Keto products? Don’t forget that code TDT gets your 15% off the shop!
- Can’t get enough regenerative agriculture? OMG—me neither! Check out this podcast.
Health isn’t just about _ food, movement, and mindset . It is also about the_ _ interactions _we have and what we _ share with our fellow humans._
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