Food for Thought: Can Farming Save Healthcare?
According to research conducted with Illinois consumers, below is a list of what consumers perceive as a “good farm” and a “bad farm.”
Interestingly, according to the Presidents Cancer Panel, children are “far more susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens (like synthetic pesticides) and endocrine-disrupting compounds than adults.” The exact same list of things that make a “bad” farm.
So rather than label farms as “good” or “bad”, perhaps it would be in the best interest of all stakeholders in the food supply – from farmers to families – to bring transparency to fertilizer costs, assist farmers in debt reduction, reduce fees for licensing and trait use of new technologies and provide farmers crop insurance & marketing program in order to support the growing of crops without the use of synthetic pesticides.
Given that the US spends more on healthcare costs than any other country in the world and that we are one of the only developed countries in the world to have engineered our crops to withstand increasing doses of toxic herbicides, perhaps it is time that we heed the advice of the Presidents Cancer Panel and work with our farmers to build a food system that is in the best interest of all stakeholders and not just the shareholders of the agrichemical corporations.