Why Farmers Should Listen to First Lady Michelle Obama
Jeff Gangemi May 25, 2012 News 0 comments
A great new infographic from the Union of Concerned Scientists does an absolutely incredible job of showing the discrepancy between the typical American diet and the one recommended by the USDA. It also shows how subsidies to producers of the Big Five commodity crops (wheat, corn, soy, rice, and cotton) prevent U.S. farmers from planting the fruits and vegetables we need to be healthy.
The investment required to make this vital change is puny ($90 million) compared to the subsidies awarded to the producers mentioned above (over $5 billion), and the benefits to local economies could be significant.
Here’s the infographic (read on below it for more from the Union of Concerned Scientists).
“In 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new set of dietary guidelines, dubbed "MyPlate," recommending that fruits and vegetables make up 50 percent of our daily food intake.
But these healthy foods are currently grown on only 2 percent of U.S. farm acres. Furthermore, federal taxpayer dollars are used to subsidize unhealthy, processed foods instead of the fruits and vegetables necessary for a healthy diet.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Our infographic, “Plant the Plate,” illustrates how American farmers could grow the fruits and vegetables we need, while also creating jobs and benefiting local economies.”
Thanks to Grist for pointing us to the great infographic.
Image and infographic courtesy of the Union of Concerned Scientists