American consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the working conditions of the people who pick, pack and harvest their food. And retailers are responding. Wal-Mart is now paying Florida farm workers more for each pound of tomatoes picked. Whole Foods is using worker wages to rank the sustainability of the produce and flowers it sells.
When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. But it's not going to happen.
You see, Congress left states an opening to avoid the cuts. And so far, nearly half of the states participating have decided to take that option — a move that could erase the promised savings.
Many large egg-producing operations, like this one in Stuart, Iowa, would have to change the way they house hens if they want to sell eggs in California under the terms of a new California state law that is currently under court challenge.
Credit Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media
By most measures, David Kesten's hens are living the good life.
About 47 million Americans, 1 in 7, received assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 2013 fiscal year.
Credit pasa47 / Flickr
When President Obama signs the long-overdue Agriculture Act of 2014– the new farm bill – into law Friday, both farmers and food stamps advocates will be sighing in relief. This farm bill process was fraught with ups and downs and the loose coalition tying nutrition and farm programs seemed barely able to survive.