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Legislative aid

(article, Kim Carlson)

Like many things in August, the Farm Bill is on hold — although with Congress reconvening soon, that's temporary. A version of the Farm Bill passed the House earlier this summer (and frankly left many food advocates feeling, well, hungry). When Congress reconvenes, the Senate will have its turn tackling this mammoth piece of legislation. 

Now is a good time to feed your curiosity about the Farm Bill with a long podcast and a short video. The podcast, from a broadcast  of NPR's "Science Friday" earlier this month, features three heavy hitters in the world of food awareness: Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma; Marion Nestle, author of What to Eat; and Sandor Katz, author of The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved._ The three discuss food and money with affable host Ira Flato; there are plenty of laughs, but the subject is serious. After all, the Farm Bill affects us all. 

Meanwhile, the video comes from the folks at Free Range Studios (the same ones who produced the online films "Grocery Store Wars" and "The Meatrix.") It's short, wacky, and, yes, educational. Did you know the Farm Bill allocates $70 billion? That's a lot of dough.

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After you watch and listen, call your representatives in Congress. As Michael Pollan says in the podcast:

bq. It's really important that citizens keep the pressure on simply by writing your senator and your representative. I talk to a lot of people in Washington, and believe it or not, that quaint practice \[writing letters\] really works. It really can silence the lobbying dollars when \[representatives\] actually hear from citizens, because they hear from them so seldom. And especially when urban and coastal representatives hear from people about the Farm Bill, they'll stop doing what they've been doing, which is essentially trading their vote away for something else they care more about. 

bq. They have to realize that eaters have a stake in this bill, and when they do, we'll get a better Farm Bill.

Now, could someone just remind Nancy Pelosi of that?

Also on Culinate:  An article about the Farm Bill’s journey through Congress, and an article about an ideal Farm Bill.