#ROA Archive

Let’s assume the nascent “good food” movement had its collective shit together enough to coalesce and organize into a coherent political force like the farm lobby. The Club for Growth has famously hamstrung conservative politicians with its tax pledge and its not out of the question to think someday the food movement could exercise...
Bad policy, politics and greed are big contributors to our current clean water woes. But as consumers we contribute, too. Farmers and food companies do response to demand. We’re the ones eating all that cheap meat after all. How effective would it be to slap this on billboards and buses in Toledo? The idea would...
Guest writing the Ag Insider column for the Food and Environment Reporting Network this week. Here’s Monday’s, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s columns.  Avian flu expected back in the fall This spring the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic tore through poultry farms across 15 U.S. states, leading to the death of 48 million birds. The bulk of those were egg-laying hens,...
On Friday August 6th, the Republic of Awesome published a rundown of federal farm subsidies paid to presidential hopeful Jeb Bush’s Iowa “Farm Team.” Jeb’s team pulled in an impressive $9.2 million. The piece also looked at the implications of cozying up to the highly subsidized in a Republican primary field where being a...
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush announced his “Iowa Farm Team,” on Wednesday, July 30th. As reported by the Iowa Quad City Times’ Ed Tibbets: Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush on Thursday announced the endorsements of several farmers and other agriculture professions in Iowa. The campaign said the former Florida governor’s “Iowa Farm Team” would...
You may have noticed that the price of eggs has gone up. That’s partially due to the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza epidemic that decimated poultry farms across 15 U.S. states this spring. The death toll from the flu and culling has surged to over 48 million birds. The bulk were egg-laying hens, many concentrated in massive...
The modern farm lobby has many similarities with the Republican Party like denying climate change and calling for the repeal of Obamacare in policy books. Until today, DC based ag lobbyists have largely adhered to a peace accord similar to the GOP 11th Amendment axiom made famous by Ronald Reagan to not attack other...
Consumer preference for more ethical and healthy fare is driving change in food and farming. Animal welfare concerns are often at the heart of this change. Spurred by activists exposing cruel treatment of livestock, many operations have made welcome and humane improvements in how farm animals are handled. Still, it seems every week another...
Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is a prototypical rural conservative, in that he decries government involvement while championing federal agriculture subsidies and mandates for corn ethanol. Where he breaks from the herd is the Senator’s laudable, principled stand against gross inequity in the farm subsidy program by fighting year after year for payment limits to mega farms...
Food historian Rachel Laudan touched a nerve last week when a long ago published essay “A plea for culinary modernism” resurfaced on Jacobin magazine. The gist of her thinking is that the good food movement is unjustly ignoring the efficiency and bounty our industrialized food system produces. From an interview of Laudan by Washingtonian’s...