Every five years, Congress writes a massive farm bill that impacts the economy, trade, conservation and the American diet. In January the Department of Agriculture (USDA) offered "as a focus of debate" wide-ranging recommendations for how agricultural policies might support rather than subvert dietary guidelines spelled out in its new food pyramid, right. While debate on the details of the bill has traditionally been confined to lobbyists and farm-state politicians, this year the discussion is poised to go public. Among the topics to be addressed: How might government crop subsidies be changed?
The cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is up 40% since 1985; meat, oil and soft drinks are down 5% to 25%
Each day, 25% of U.S. adults eat fast food. Favorite vegetables are potato chips and French fries
For every dollar the USDA spends on nutrition edu-cation, the food industry spends $24 on ads and marketing