Policy

Using Food as a Treatment for Mental Illness

Using Food as a Treatment for Mental Illness

Most of us are familiar with food banks and soup kitchens where donated food goes to feed hungry people in the community. Yet we rarely talk about the connection between mental illness and hunger and how access to food can do more than just provide a full stomach. Numerous studies have shown a link between poor intestinal health and an increase in mental illness – though which is the cause and which the effect remains […]

Read more ›
July 10, 2014 at 7:00 amFeatures Policy

Food Fund Friday – Investigative Ag Journalism With Drones

Food Fund Friday – Investigative Ag Journalism With Drones

Will Potter, author of the excellent book Green is the New Red, has often focused his work on animal rights and the environment. Following his book about the heightened rate of prosecution and conviction for environmental “terrorists,” he’s started focusing on Ag-Gag laws. According to some, they’re a necessary way to keep farms safe and meant to stop animal abuse from happening. To others, they’re an affront to civil liberties and freedom of the press and stop […]

Read more ›
June 13, 2014 at 11:32 amColumns Food Fund Fridays Policy

What Happens When Craft Beer Becomes Big Beer

What Happens When Craft Beer Becomes Big Beer

The little guys aren’t so little anymore. The craft beer industry produces 7.8 percent of the total beer volume sold in the United States, up from 4.2 percent in 2008. It’s not just that people are drinking more craft beer – they’re drinking less of the “other stuff.” Big names like Anheuser-Busch and Coors are down in production by tens of millions of barrels a year. So if big beer can’t join them, at least they […]

Read more ›
June 3, 2014 at 12:38 pmPolicy

A Decal for Restaurants Who Donate Unwanted Food

A Decal for Restaurants Who Donate Unwanted Food

Next time you see decals stuck to a restaurant’s door, take a closer look. Restaurant certification programs go miles beyond Yelp reviews or even sanitation grades from the Department of Health. Slow Food has their Snail of Approval which denotes a restaurant that uses local and sustainable ingredients. You may see signs reading “Certified Green” for places that recycle and use water and energy more efficiently. Labor organizations like the Restaurant Opportunities Center have online […]

Read more ›
May 8, 2014 at 10:51 pmPolicy

Missouri Might Pay SNAP Recipients To Eat Their Veggies

Missouri Might Pay SNAP Recipients To Eat Their Veggies

It isn’t often that policy changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – also known as food stamps – are positive developments, which is why a proposed Missouri bill to reimburse recipients for purchasing healthy food is so stunning. In recent months, SNAP has gotten a number of bad blows. From the expiration of temporary stimulus funds to additional cuts through the recently passed Farm Bill, beneficiaries of this critical anti-poverty program have too […]

Read more ›
February 25, 2014 at 8:00 amPolicy

Want to Cut the Cost of Food Stamps? Do Nothing!

Want to Cut the Cost of Food Stamps? Do Nothing!

Fiscal conservatives, rejoice! It turns out the best way to control the cost of the food stamps is to simply do nothing. In a recent report, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that, after taking into account the automatic cuts to food stamps that took effect November 1, in just a few short years the cost of the program will mirror that of the late 1990s. The graph below shows the projected trajectory […]

Read more ›
November 21, 2013 at 8:47 amPolicy

The Fate of Washington State’s I-522 and GMO Labeling

The Fate of Washington State’s I-522 and GMO Labeling

GMO labeling is at the forefront of current political food activism. In recent elections two major bills manifested that would bring more power to the hands of the consumer, California prop 37 and more recently Washington State’s I-522. Both were defeated in last-minute opinion shifts based on advertising campaigns with budgets in the tens of millions. Often times the focus of such acts and campaigns center around the conglomerates that monopolize the food industry (notably […]

Read more ›
November 15, 2013 at 9:38 amPolicy

How to Fight for Food Reform in Bill de Blasio’s NYC

NYC's new Mayor, Bill de Blasio
(photo: Kevin Chase)

In case you missed it, New York City recently got a new mayor by the name of Bill de Blasio. He was elected with 73% of the vote, a clear sign that many New Yorkers are ready for a more progressive government. His platform ran on decreasing inequality – of wealth, employment, housing, healthcare, and justice – and his time on the City Council attested to those values. Many of the talking points that became […]

Read more ›
November 11, 2013 at 2:07 pmPolicy

Fraud At The USDA? Don’t Blame SNAP

Where has all the SNAP money gone?
[Flickr]

According to a new report from the USDA inspector general, the department paid out $20.3 million more than it should have in 2013. If you’re an avid consumer of conservative news or GOP talking points, you probably think that SNAP payments are responsible for the bulk of this waste. But you’d be wrong. The USDA provides an array of farm subsidies and nutrition assistance, funding for which is determined by the passage of a Farm […]

Read more ›
September 5, 2013 at 1:43 pmPolicy

If Farmville Had a Farmbill

If Farmville Had a Farmbill

Research would tell us that most people are a few generations removed from the farm. This means that it can be more difficult for us to explain what’s happening out here, just because we’re not talking the same language. What if that were to change? Research would also tell us that a vast majority of our society enjoys playing online games, one of which happens to be a farming-based game called, “Farmville.” If you’re reading […]

Read more ›
August 26, 2013 at 12:39 pmPolicy