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Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the NEXT Food and Farm Bill    by Daniel Imhoff order for
Food Fight
by Daniel Imhoff
Order:  USA  Can
Watershed Media, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Set to expire in September, the Farm Bill (United States legislation that provides billions of dollars for Food Stamps, commodity agriculture and conservation programs) may fly a bit under the radar as the presidential elections heat up, but that doesn't mean the bill is any less important.

In Food Fight, Daniel Imhoff offers a completely revised and updated version of this previously published book.

'This book is specifically designed to demystify the incredibly complex Farm Bill into easily digestible chapters,' writes the Northern California resident. 'It is a view of the Bill from 10,000 feet. Hopefully it will inspire citizens to take back programs that are so essential for public health, job creation, land stewardship, and even national security.'

Imhoff has edited the book's 20 chapters with a fast-paced, newspaper style that includes colorful charts, tables and illustrations that make the information here easier to absorb.

General interest in the reform of farm policy has been rising steadily since the last Farm Bill was passed in 2008. In part that might have something to do with the fact that corn based ethanol production has skyrocketed, pushing up the price of corn for other uses; that food stamp enrollment has doubled from 2002 to reach 40 million individuals by 2010; and the number of mid-sized family farms has dropped from over five million in 1950 to just above two million in 2002 while large, mega-farm operations have gone in just the opposite direction.

'Governments have long played an important role in a country's food and farming systems,' explains Imhoff. 'Today's policies are geared toward allowing huge corporate agribusiness to dominate not just food production but distribution as well. If we citizens don't learn to vote with our forks and tell our representatives what kind of food system we want, agribusiness will happily write the Farm Bill for us.'

What this book does suggest is an approach that is sustainable, effective and in the best interests of all the parties involved, rather than just a handful of large players.

As you read what Imhoff has to say you'll also discover who wins and who loses from heavily subsidized industrial agriculture, what the Farm Bill's connection is to the national obesity epidemic and what you can do to make your feelings known to the nation's lawmakers.

Not everyone will agree with Daniel Imhoff's look at the U.S. Farm Bill and how it will affect the country, but even those who aren't on the same page as the author will have to admit that he raises some interesting issues that need to be addressed in some constructive manner.

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