Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Nine billion mouths to feed
From the Heartland, Margot McMillen writes: On a conference phone call with a bunch of farmers (and one fisherwoman) yesterday, we lamented the misunderstandings surrounding the farm bill. The theme of the call might have been: We may not even get the smallest amendments on the senate floor that we need. How can we build our capacity? We never got a free market and with so much corporate power we never will. The subjects were diverse—the farm bill, a Washington Post article announcing the end of subsidies (which keep many family farms profitable and keep food cheap for consumers), a new movie that repeats the bad old messages. The movie, which I haven’t seen yet, tells about a farm family fighting over their future. The heroes, as I’ve heard it, leave the farm. The thing is that the corporate have been honing their message for decades and it’s a good one: nine billion mouths to feed. Nothing about birth control, declining population in some lands, education for women to give them more options. Just five words, repeated and repeated and repeated by the big corporate powers. So we need five words.