Farm subsidies have been villainized recently in the media, especially those advocating for locally produced, fresh foods, since the current subsidies have brought us massive factory farms and rampant amounts of high-fructose corn syrup. Is it the program itself that is contributing to the less-than-healthy diet of the typical American or is it just the way that it is presently run? Mark Bittman, former author of the New York Times column called the Minimalist and now op-ed writer , suggests that the US government could just shift gears and rethink farm subsidies.
The farm subsidies program was pioneered during the Great Depression and helped control prices to benefit the farmers of the 1930s. Millions of dollars today go to agri-business and could be re-routed to small farms and farmers who get their produce directly to consumers. Such farmers do not contribute to processed foods, a major cause of the obesity epidemic, and help remedy the slew of environmental issues caused by large-scale farming.