And those few bad apples who do commit fraud are no excuse to kick the unemployed and the poor when they are engaged in a mighty battle to get themselves and their families back on their feet. So shame on this Congress for fighting dirty during working people’s hour of struggle. Polls show Americans haven’t approved much of Congress lately. But there is a way to gain favor. If this Congress wants to make cuts, why not look at the Pentagon, notorious for waste? Or check out the Department of Agriculture, which made about $28 million in inappropriate farm assistance payments, according to a compilation of government waste reported in Business Insider. Or perhaps lawmakers could start with themselves? Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, tried to shame her colleagues into cutting less from the food stamp program (called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). Speaking of representatives who would vote to take food from America’s tables, she said, “Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar.” Speier talked about 20 members of Congress who traveled to Ireland and got a daily food allowance of $166. The average amount a family member gets on food stamps is less than $4 a day.
Food stamp cuts a cruel proposal
If youre not ready for them though, you can still help save the environment by sticking to the old ones. From local food to edible packaging, at least one method is sure to appeal to you. Eat Local Whether youre buying fruit, vegetables, beef, fish, or dairy, shopping at your local farmers market can help reduce the food carbon footprint. Products at the supermarket often have high food miles since they travel from across the country or from other countries altogether. Local products dont travel as much and thus have a smaller footprint. Some argue that transportation is only a small part of greenhouse gas emissions in the food industry, and theyre right! Transportation makes up only about 4-6% of the food industrys emissions. Dont forget that production, processing, and packaging work requires much more energy. Buying local probably means that youre buying non-processed, whole foods. That reduces the carbon footprint and is good for your health! Eat Less Meat and Dairy What does eating cows, goats, and sheep have to do with saving the environment? Livestock farms produce a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions, either through the methane produced by the animals or through the production of crops used to feed these animals. Dairy also requires milk, which comes from these animals. Try the eco-friendly trend of cutting back on meat and enjoy a Meatless Monday or two with vegetarian recipes . The Environment Working Groups Meat Eaters Guide says that if all Americans (thats about 313.9 million of them) opted out on meat just once a week, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
At Food-Filled Farm Aid, Music Isn’t Only Focus
September 21, 2013 (AP) By MARY ESCH Associated Press Farm Aid is more than a family of musicians banding together to help the small farmer. It’s also a family meal. A key component of Farm Aid concerts this year’s is taking place Saturday in Saratoga Springs is the food, which comes through Farm Aid’s Homegrown Concessions. It was started six years ago to create new markets for family farmers. Vendors, which include local food-service outlets, as well as national brands such as Chipotle and Amy’s Organic, must meet Farm Aid’s criteria for sourcing the ingredients in their food, from organic flour in the panini to free-ranging, antibiotic-free hogs on the barbecue grill. Even the cotton candy has a family farm origin, made from maple syrup produced in the Catskills. “Farm Aid’s mission is about family farmers, and economic opportunity for family farmers is a really big priority of ours,” said Glenda Yoder, associate director of Farm Aid. “We also support good farming practices and rewarding farmers for those practices. So our Homegrown criteria call for food that is sourced from family farms that meet an ecological standard, and that returns a fair price to the farmer.” Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp lead the star-studded lineup this year, along with Jack Johnson, Carlene Carter, Toad the Wet Sprocket and about 10 other artists. The annual concert is the chief moneymaker for the Farm Aid organization Nelson co-founded in 1985 and leads as president. The beneficiaries of the organization’s year-round efforts are always featured prominently at the shows, with a Homegrown Village providing concert-goers a chance to meet local farmers, learn agrarian skills, and eat food from vendors who meet strict criteria set by Farm Aid. “We talk about saving the family farmer, but the fact is, it’s the family farmer who will save us all,” Nelson said at a media event before the gates opened at noon Saturday.