We Know More about Who Makes Our Bombs than Who Feeds Our Kids

No government is enamoured of transparency. But a new report from Michele Simon entitled “Food Stamps: Follow the Money” shows quite how far the USDA needs to go. If you try, for instance, to follow the money in the Farm Bill’s largest program – SNAP, the program that used to be known as Food Stamps – you won’t get very far. The USDA goes out of its way to hide the corporate beneficiaries of its program. Through other information, it’s clear that large supermarkets make a great deal of cash out of selling surplus commodities. It’s also clear that banks make bank by charging fees on the electronic transfer of benefits. But no one knows quite how much. And the USDA isn’t telling.

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1000 Farmers Protest Against Land Grabs in Karnataka

From La Via Campesina’s News Wire

7 June , Bangalore

More than a 1000 Karnataka farmers tried to cease the venue of the Global Investors Meet this morning by blocking the main road and disrupting traffic. The police has arrested about a 1000 while the others are still protesting. KRRS farmers have committed to a jail bharo – they are undertaking mass voluntary arrests.

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On Bloomberg and Liberty

Mayor Bloomberg - Nanny

Readers outside the United States may not have heard of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s limit on soda size. He wants there to be a maximum portion size for the consumption of soft drinks. The limit? A very generous 16 oz (or 473 ml, if you prefer). Soft drink portion sizes have grown considerably: in 1955, McDonald’s offered a 7oz cup – now it’s 32oz. Capping the size of drinks sold at restaurants goes a small way to reversing that trend. Of course, if you’d like to consume more, you’re still free to. The only impediment is the indignity of ordering twice.

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Another Commonwealth Club event for the new edition of Stuffed and Starved.

Half the world is malnourished, the other half obese. Why is there such a large discrepancy between the haves and the have-nots for what we all need: food? Patel conducts a global investigation to make sense of the world food crisis and finds that “the food system is filled with choices made by a handful of powerful people, in smoke-filled rooms, over the objections of the majority.” Hear his story of nefarious false choices and of international resistance movements that take you from seed to store to plate.

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