We, the people…and the Farm Bill.

Growing up in Massachusetts means a special kind of connection to the Fourth of July. Along with Thanksgiving, the Fourth of July is one of two holidays all Americans can claim as our own. Both were born in Massachusetts: Thanksgiving in Plymouth around a communal dining table and the American Revolution, which started with the [...]

Farm Bill defeated in House; traditional rural-urban alliance frayed

The old rural-urban alliance that married farm and nutrition programs failed to get a Farm Bill through the House this afternoon. The bill lost 195-234, with food stamps apparently the main issue. The House seemed ready to pass the bill this afternoon “after the Agriculture Committee leadership agreed to a sweeping en bloc amendment Wednesday [...]

Farm bill update: good news first

There’s good news and there’s bad news out of the U.S. House of Representatves Committee on Agriculture. The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM) passed by a bipartisan 35-11 vote. The committee rejected amendments to alter the no-cost sugar program and also voted not to remove the Dairy Market Stabilization Program (DMSP) from [...]

Farm Bill Follies 2012?

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the farm bill. Up next, the U.S. House of Representatives.  Word from Ag Chair Frank Lucas, R-Okla., is that mark-up of the bill is expected to begin on July 11 with high hopes that the bill will go to the full House before August recess. The biggest stumbling [...]

Just In: USDA Farm to School grant applications available

USDA request for applications (RFA) are now available for the new Farm to School grant program. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 is in its first funding cycle for grants planning or implementing new or expanded Farm to School programs. USDA expects to award up to $3.5 million to support access to local foods [...]

Shingles

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I apologize for the long silence. What follows is both my explanation and information you may find important. Shingles (herpes zoster) is related to chicken pox (varicella virus).  If you had chicken pox, it’s likely that some of the virus is lurking along your spinal cord.  Shingles happens when that virus [...]

USDA’s MyPlate: Lipstick on a Pig

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I respect pigs. I really do. They are highly intelligent animals, good natured, and endowed with a sense of humor, if you’re subtle enough to detect it. But pigs are not pretty, and putting lipstick on them doesn’t make them any prettier. Neither does putting lipstick on the USDA’s Food Pyramid, [...]

I had to chuckle when Sunday’s White House pool reporter sent out the menu for President Obama’s White House Super Bowl party.  It looks like the First Lady’s primo nightmare, a veritable cholesterol festival. This should not be construed as criticism.  Nobody should be so rigid about diet that there can’t be any special days, [...]

Delicious Satire

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Are you up for a delicious bite of satire?  Try this, from Slate. Field of Greens The dreaded broccoli uprising and other freaky GOP nightmares. by Dahlia Lithwick When the socialist revolution comes, the first shot will not come from filthy peasants bearing flaming torches or angry, poorly dressed workers demanding [...]

Healthy, Hunger Free Kids

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson The title of this post has a ring to it, don’t you think? Wouldn’t you be proud to live in a country where all children are healthy and no child goes hungry? Well, that’s the goal of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act that President Obama signed into law on Monday. [...]