I haven't bought chicken in awhile, not consciously or unconsciously. I do buy better-grown chicken, but realize I've eaten other's chicken that is not grown as humanely.
This Food and Water Watch video strikes an ideal tone. You learn about how chickens are raised on factory farms, but in an entertaining fashion and, above all, not patronizing.
This also addresses the obsession (in mostly good ways) about asking our servers about what we're eating.
The Farm Bill was signed by President Barack Obama at Michigan State University, known for its agricultural program. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), the man Obama defeated for the presidency in 2008, spoke up about the legislation.
While we don't agree on most issues with the senator from Arizona, you have to appreciate his take on the Farm Bill.
"But, unfortunately, just about every subsidy eliminated under Farm Bill's is simply re-invented into a new, more expensive program. For example, we have a new 'Agriculture Risk Coverage' (ARC) program, which locks-in today's record-high crop prices and guarantees farmers up to an 86 percent return on their crop. Depending on market conditions, ARC could cost taxpayers between $3 billion to $14 billion each year — far more expensive than the $5 billion saved by the elimination of the Direct Payments Program. This bill also maintains the $95 billion federally-backed crop insurance program which subsidizes crop insurance premiums. We then pile on a new $20 billion program called Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO) that subsidizes crop insurance deductibles.
"This Farm Bill also strips an amendment offered by my colleagues, Senator (Dick) Durbin and Senator (Tom) Coburn, which would have prevented crop insurance subsidies from going to individuals with a gross income greater than $750,000 a year. That amendment was adopted by 59 votes in the Senate's Farm Bill earlier last year — and now it's absent from the conference agreement. Millionaire farmers can rejoice that their crop insurance subsidies are safe.
"This is all part of Farm Bill politics. In order to pass a Farm Bill, Congress must find a way to appease every special interest of every commodity association from asparagus farmers to wheat growers. If you cut somebody's subsidy, you give them a grant. If you kill their grant, then you subsidize their crop insurance.
McCain goes on about waste in the bill. Some items don't seem so bad, but there are a few head-shakers.
"The bill reauthorizes USDA loan subsidies for peanut growers and allows them to use their peanuts as collateral. If a peanut grower forfeits on their USDA loan, the federal government takes ownership of the peanuts and taxpayers bear the costs of storing the nuts!
"The infamous sugar program is housed in this Farm Bill. Like the peanut program, USDA gives sugar growers primarily in Florida, Louisiana, and Michigan hundreds of millions of dollars in loans each year. If a sugar grower misses their profit margins, they get to keep the loan and transfer their excess sugar to the federal government as collateral. Over the past year, sugar subsides and forfeitures have cost taxpayers $258 million while over 640,000 tons of sugar was handed over to USDA. Combined with import tariffs and marketing controls, the USDA sugar program cost consumers over $3 billion each year. It is one of the most obscene federal farm subsidies ever conceived and this Farm Bill does nothing to reform it.
McCain also mentions a hidden "tax" on heating oil, which seemingly has nothing to do with farmers.
You really should read the entirety of the statement to truly appreciate the problems in the bill. And this doesn't even count what progressives and liberals are upset about (e.g., food stamps cuts).
Click here for the whole statement from Sen. McCain.
I used to be a Subway fan, but over time I struggled with the quality of the bread and vegetables. The bread never fit the true sense of a sub(no way) sandwich and tasted too sweet for my tastes.
Subway says it will get rid of azodicarbonamide, a plastic-based additive chemical used in yoga mats.
The chemical helps add air into the bread. Azodicarbonamide is banned in Europe and Australia, while legal in the United States and Canada. The World Health Organization has linked azodicarbonamide to respiratory issues, allergies, and asthma. Yikes!
You can usually judge a food ingredient by whether there is a ban in Europe. If Europe says "non," you should too.
This still doesn't mean I'm going back, but it will help millions of those who do.
Editor's note: 2014 will see more Slider Bites columns. We've fallen a bit behind for a few reasons. We appreciate your patience.