06 Mar '12, 1pm

Know your bites: Does the USDA’s local-farms program have a chance?

Know your bites: Does the USDA’s local-farms program have a chance?

Today, most of us see “local” as shorthand for fresh, delicious food that comes with a story attached — and that serves an alternative to consolidated, anonymous, commodity-based farming. But that hasn’t always been how the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) sees it. USDA is known for creating, subsidizing, and promoting industrial agriculture. So the agency’s effort to dip its toes into the local food movement in 2009 with its Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program (KYF2) raised eyebrows and questions. Could USDA really help create a thriving bottom-up food system? Or would it spread the term local, and the ethos behind it, so thin as to make it meaningless? Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food essentially re-packaged and highlighted government programs that support and promote the development of local farmers and ranchers. The funds it made available are a drop ...

Full article: http://grist.org/locavore/know-your-bites-does-the-usdas-...

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