AGRICULTURE
TAX DOLLARS

  • Without water subsidies to feedlots and slaughterhouses, beef would cost $30 per pound.
     

  • Over $20 billion tax dollars are appropriated as annual price support to monoculture farming, i.e., wheat, corn, soybean.
     

  • 70% of the grain grown in the U.S. is fed to beef (high consumption of animal products is linked to heart diseases - the number 1 killer in the U.S.
     

  • Tens of millions of dollars are spent researching, testing and developing pesticides, BUT crop loss per acre has doubled since the inception of insecticides, AND the E.P.A. ranks pesticide residues in food as the number three cancer risk.
     

  • Pesticide production generates 350 million tons of toxic waste per year.

 

THE FREE MARKET

  • Gallo Wines has implemented integrated pest management (ladybugs, bats, hedgerows for birds, etc.) and tractor weeding (vs. herbicides) on their 10,000 acre vineyards, i.e., ORGANIC FARMING - because it's cost effective.
     

  • Organic food, completely UNSUBSIDIZED, is now a more than $27 billion a year industry (10% - 20% annual growth). Numbers current as of 2011.
     

  • Many small organic farms (less than 100 acres, largely UNSUBSIDIZED) report annual incomes of $50,000 - $75,000.
     

  • Some analysts predict that five out of six small monoculture farms (largely SUBSIDIZED) will fail by the end of the decade.
     

  • Goodness Greeness, a Midwest organic produce distributor now has sales of more than $30 million annually.
     

  • Whole Foods, an organic/natural food store chain came to Chicago in 1992; local annual sales are currently more than $300 million.

 

Agriculture Links:

  1.  Biofuels from Switchgrass: Greener Energy Pastures

  2.  Organic Trade Association

  3. The Economist: Farm Subsidies | Uncle Sam's Teat
    Can America's farmers be weaned from their government money?

  4. Weed it, and Reap by Michael Pollan.

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