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Farmers Are Destroying Mountains of Food. Here's What To Do About It

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/09/farmers-are-destroying-mountains-food-heres-what-do-about-it

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I wonder why the farmers can’t declare a value to their foods and then take that food gift and donate it to feed people and then use that gifting as a write off on their taxes? Corporations seem to do that a lot. I wonder if Boeing wrote off the money it had to pay for all the people that it killed in its crashes?

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Eating meat and drinking cows milk are not only unhealthy they are also unsustainable in the long run because of the enormous strain they put on the environment and our food supply chain as described in this article. As far as I’m concerned the meat, dairy and ethanol industries need to go and the resources devoted to more sustainable and local food markets. Unfortunately, convincing the public and politicians of that is going to be nearly impossible; most of the public has been brainwashed to believe that they need to consume animal products and that giving them up would be some terrible sacrifice, and politicians received enormous lobbying by the meat, dairy, and ethanol industries to keep them afloat no matter what and provide them with enormous subsidies. So what we’re left with is the dysfunctional system described in this article that completely falls apart when there is a crisis. Until most people give up eating meat, drinking cow’s milk, and using ethanol fortified gas in their cars these problems will persist; so it’s people’s, not just large corporations’, fault that we’re in this mess.

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Reduce the article to these two paragraphs, and you get the real solution for this miserable situation. Acknowledging the incredible cruelty to animals, disrespect to the natural world and of course, no help for human beings…this is the outcome of a corrupt and broken system dependent on corporations and beholding to politicians.

"For starters, policies must support smaller farmers and diversified sustainable production. This includes what’s known as parity- a fair price for farmers’ crops, guaranteed by the government, to prevent overproduction and market chaos.

Subsidies that currently propel farming consolidation and mass production of commodities for livestock feed and fuel must be reformed to promote organic, smaller-scale, regionally and local foods. This will help farmers survive and provide communities with resilient and diverse food supplies rather than depending on vast and fragile corporate food supply chains."

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The real purpose of food is nutrition.

They prolly would if it was that easy. One thing i can think of is milk is pasteurized before it is sold. Vegetables have to be picked a transported to wherever they are donated. The farmers would have to pay the pickers then pay someone to transport it. Or someone could volunteer to ship it for free.

Not gonna go into meat production as the chain there is much longer.

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The real purpose of no food is CONTROL! Brutal regimes over the centuries know that people will give up everything, and I do mean everything, for food - anything to stay alive. It’s been used forever - from Khan to US govt starving the native Americans by killing the buffalo. From Mao starving his own people to the Brits starving the Irish and every other colonial country.

Starving the people drives them to be meek and dependent and controllable.

Do not doubt that this is about anything more than control. Want food? Do as your controllers tell you. Want to feed your children? Then obey orders.

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What Christopher Cook describes doesn’t seem to match observed reality.

On the start-end of this, our farmers are capable of producing too much food, and we’ve known that for a long time. Government farm aid, including the concept of ‘parity’ provides them with a ‘fair’ price for their food leading then to over-production of food.
- In a free market, when a business produces too much of something, such as cassette tapes, then the price crash and inventory pile up causes a “shake out” and producers go out of business. In this instance we need many farmers to stop farming. (That leads to a question of how the land might then be used, a better use. I am sure Earth First! has suggestions :slight_smile:)

The event that prompted this article is overproduction running into breaks in the supply chain to the consumer, and in response farmers have had to plow under the food they can’t sell. For milkmen, the closure of restaurants and schools has dried up a big market, and they haven’t been able (yet) to shift to sales to consumers at home. In the case of meat, workers at the meat plants have gotten sick with CoViD19, and the plants have shut down. To the extent the plants continue to operate the line moves more slowly. So processing can’t absorb what the ranchers and feeders produce. The size of the plant is only somewhat relevant. Smaller plants just as packed and efficient would simply mean more plants becoming virus hot spots.

Christopher Cook gets one statement very definitely wrong. “There are … and many losers (consumers, …” He is wrong. The entire system exists to please the consumer, with consumers free to make their own choices between quality and price. The consumer is a winner in the existing system, not a loser. We are now facing the costs of “the consumer is always right”. Making things safer and better for farmworkers and meat plant workers will mean that prices go up, noticeably, and supply goes down, a bit. (As several people have remarked, less meat because it is more expensive would probably be better for all of us.)

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Buy local.

Policies are not apt to run our way.

Buy seeds. We are apt to have to solve this without permission.

That’s why we must move to food being grown more locally. So people have access to the healthy food that sustains them.

Vandana Shiva, in her many books and lectures, has been making the very same points. Monoculture and GMO crops are destroying the soil and its ability to feed us. Countless farmers have committed suicide in India and now this breakdown is reaching US America where its corporations have repeatedly interfered in other nations including their agriculture. This is another opportunity to imagine a much better world post capitalism.

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Hi lamonte7:
Hmmm, well maybe there are enough churches and social service groups that could pick the fruits and vegetables—and maybe too, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts could help too. I read once that in some states, maybe in grandparents time, that high school kids would take take off from school to bring in crops. It seems like there must be some way to put the food to a useful purpose stead of making it into garbage. : (

Under capitalism, the real purpose of anything is profit. All other considerations–nutrition, or stronger teeth, or better gas mileage–are secondary at best.

Yes your right on the money…

Capitalism or the economic system comes from humanitys illusion or belief of what we think is true about Life.
We believe we are separate from each other ,Disunity and there’s never enough to go around, Insufficiency.
These twin illusions form our whole economic model.

“To change the existing reality you create a new model that makes the old one obsolete.”