Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘USDA’

WIN Failed, But Government Cheese Won

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Losing WIN, and Feeding the Poor:
Ford, Carter & Reagan have important lessons to teach us.

Remember Gerald Ford, and his WIN — “Whip Inflation Now” — campaign?
 

It was a failure.

The two premises of that effort — encouraging increased individual savings, and reducing personal spending — were not merely ineffectual, they were also justifiably ridiculed because they did absolutely nothing to lower prices.
 
In a TRULY free market economy, not only is government allowed to compete, but prices, as others and I have continually said, are controlled by the seller, NOT the buyer. The SELLER is the one setting prices. 
 
For example, if Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Marathon, Valero, and Phillips 66 (in the TOP 10 largest oil companies globally by revenue) were to reduce by 25% their consumer prices of gasoline & diesel fuel (and, they could), that would significantly change, at least on some level, the volume of sales/consumption. 
 
Yet the study of economics also tells us that merely lowering prices will not always increase consumption to a certain price level. Consider bananas; if more folks ate more bananas, their prices ~might~ decline, but only modestly, and certainly not by 25%.
 
Though agricultural production has some similarities to industrial production, it fundamentally relies upon a renewable resource to satisfy demand (including an often-fickle, and increasingly angry and uncooperative Mother Nature), where as oil does not, because petroleum is a finite resource.
 
And THAT is PRECISELY WHY others and I maintain that establishing a windfall profits tax (WPT) could be used to help consumers -and- companies that rely upon petroleum for their existence, because it would return TO THE PEOPLE a ~fraction~ of the excessive portion of the rapacious profit made by Big Oil companies which are paid to their executives, overlords, and Wall Street wheeler-dealer shareholders.
 
• Congress first enacted a WPT in 1917 which ranged from Read the rest of this entry »

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All Afghanistan REALLY Wants Is…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 25, 2021

While it may sound simplistic,

I have long maintained – and in the last 20 years often said – that what the United States needs to do with regard to Afghanistan, is…

Send select, expert teams from the USDA, about 40 or 50 John Deere tractors, combines, and various other farming & harvesting equipment (and give JD a tax break for donating them, they’ll appreciate that) — and truckloads of seed corn, wheat, soybeans, wheat, grain sorghum, and other foodstuffs, including silage/forage, and show the people how to use and care for the tractors, plant, tend, and harvest, the crops, care for/manage the soil, and their animals.

Why?

All those people REALLY want to do is:

1.) Feed themselves, and;

2.) Feed their livestock.

Help them solve those two problems, and we’ll have a friend for life.

And, for the faithful, there’s this matter to consider as well:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him a drink. If you do this, you will make him feel guilty and ashamed.”
— Romans 12:20 (GWT)

The Nation Suffers From Severe Localized Food Insecurity:

Due to civil conflict, population displacement, and economic slowdown – the food security situation worsened in recent months due to the impact of COVID‑19 as informal labor opportunities and remittances declined; between November 2020 and March 2021, about 13.15 million people were estimated to be in severe acute food insecurity and to require urgent humanitarian assistance, including 8.52 million people in “Crisis” and 4.3 million people in “Emergency”; the food security of the vulnerable populations, including IDPs (Internally Displaced People) and the urban poor, is likely to deteriorate as curfews and restrictions on movements to contain the COVID‑19 outbreak limit the employment opportunities for casual laborers (2021).

Yes, there are problems to be overcome – most notably low education levels perhaps being the most problematic – and the language barrier can be, and has been, relatively easily overcome. But education Read the rest of this entry »

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Edible Fake Food Is A Real Problem, But Who Has Your Back?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 7, 2020

Food Fraud: How Do You Know What You Buy Is What It’s Labeled As Being?

What is it, how often, and where does it occur?

Who does it?

What’s being done about it?

Sure, you may pooh-pooh the thought, the idea, the notion, that someone, anyone (people) could be defrauded in food purchases.

And quite frankly, the reason why, is that YOU TAKE IT FOR GRANTED.

Yes, 99.99% of ALL PEOPLE in the United States TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT THEIR FOOD IS WHAT IT IS LABELED TO BE.

Milk, for example, comes from a mammal, such as a cow, or goat – NOT a plant, NOT a nut (almond) – a MAMMAL.

Horse, or donkey milk isn’t a popular item in the States. And I don’t think that I’ve ever seen, or heard of camel’s milk anywhere stateside.

But, there is NO SUCH THING as “almond milk.” It’s actually a HIGHLY PROCESSED, chemically-produced, made-in-a-chemical-laboratory concoction that’s a poor wanna-be ALMOND JUICE, or some other disgusting kind of slurry of crushed almonds that couldn’t make the cut for edible snacks.

If you want REAL FOOD, only buy REAL FOOD.

Same thing goes for the gobbledygook parading as “turkey bacon.” There’s NO SUCH THING. BACON COMES FROM THE PORK BELLY – NOT GROUND-UP, HIGHLY PROCESSED TURKEY MEAT.

The etymology of the word “bacon” (its origin and derivation) is from the:

“early 14c., “meat from the back and sides of a hog” (originally either fresh or cured, but especially cured), from Old French bacon, from Proto-Germanic *bakkon “back meat” (source also of Old High German bahho, Old Dutch baken “bacon”). Slang phrase bring home the bacon first recorded 1908; bacon formerly being the staple meat of the working class and the rural population (in Shakespeare bacon is a derisive term for “a rustic”).”

Chicken, beef, pork… same thing. Not only is it by law, USDA inspected to be free from diseases or defects, and for cleanliness and sanitary conditions of slaughter and preparation, it’s the world’s HIGHEST quality for those reasons.

And, believe it, or else, in some nations – such as China, or India – food is REGULARLY adulterated (contaminated and mixed with) non-food items such as cellulose (paper/wood pulp), then sold to unsuspecting consumers. And, it’s NOT illegal.

Adulterated, and purposely mislabeled food is NOT a problem with a limited scope, or occurrence, and sadly, in recent years, with the proliferation and increase in global trade, it has increased in volume, and incidents, at home, and abroad.

For examples of other such instances, see:
https://foodrevolution.org/blog/food-fraud-olive-oil-and-avocado-oil/

https://globalnews.ca/news/4014182/food-fraud-avoiding-fake-product/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2019/02/17/5-fake-foods-and-food-scams-you-need-to-avoid/

https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/over-%E2%82%AC100-million-worth-of-fake-food-and-drinks-seized-in-latest-europol-interpol-operation

https://realfoodfakefood.com/

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-fake-food-sector-unlicensed-products-knock-offs-supply-chain-contamination-public-health-alibaba-walmart-inscatech-a7880341.html

https://www.fraud.org/fraud_food

https://nationalpost.com/life/food/food-fraud-hits-one-of-italys-most-famous-products-raising-questions-about-effectiveness-of-gourmet-labels

The United States’ food safety and health laws have historically prevented such abusive, deceptive practices from occurring. It doesn’t mean, however, that it never occurs. I have written about this subject previously.

And yet, mostly-Republican administrations (including this one) have attempted to cut back on Read the rest of this entry »

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Is SNAP (formerly “Food Stamps”) an Economic Boost?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, July 19, 2012

You betcha’!

Research performed by the United States Department of Agriculture at the request of then-President George W. Bush shows that for every $1.00 spent on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, $1.84 is put into the economy. In fact the report says that, “every $5 in new SNAP benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity.”

You want jobs?

The research shows that the “jobs impact estimates from the FANIOM model range from 9,000 to 18,000 FTE-jobs plus self-employed per $1 billion of SNAP benefits.”

It should be borne in mind that the median household income in 2006 was slightly over $50,000/year.

Read on for more “shocking” economic good news!

The report in it’s entirety may be downloaded here.
8/27/20 NOTE: The official USDA report site has ceased, and the report may be downloaded from this site – WSB. The Food Assistance Nation Input-Output Multiplier (FANIOM) Model & Stimulus Effects of SNAP

The Economic Case for Food Stamps

By Michel Nischan

Jul 18 2012, 3:09 PM ET

Congress is planning to cut up to $16 billion from low-income food aid over the next five years. But research shows that every dollar spent on assistance pays for itself and grows the economy.

In its current form, the House Agriculture Committee‘s version of the farm bill proposes draconian cuts to food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The ill-thought-out proposal would deny food assistance to millions of people, many of them children. Speaking as a chef and CEO of a national nonprofit that supports small and mid-sized farmers who make fresh fruits and vegetables available to everyone regardless of income, I’m obviously alarmed.

FOOD-USA/FARMERSMARKET

Grace Blackburn, Susan Noyce and Mary Claire Geyer (L-R) set out fruit for sale at the Westmoreland Berry Farm stand at the Arlington Farmers’ Market in Arlington, Virginia in this picture taken June 28, 2008. While price hikes are rippling through farmers’ markets across the United States, they are doing little to deter shoppers looking for local produce. Cherries and berries for sale at the Westmoreland Berry Farm stand at the Arlington Farmers’ Market in Arlington, Virginia (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The Senate’s version of the farm bill would reduce overall funding by $23 billion, with a reduction in food stamps of $4.5 billion over five years. The House Agriculture Committee is proposing to cut funding by $35 billion — with nearly half the overall cut coming from reductions in food stamps by $16 billion over five years.

Those who believe in cutting SNAP funding as a cost-saving measure should know that food stamps boost the economy — not put a strain on it. Supporters of federal food benefits programs including President George W. Bush understood this, and proved the economic value of SNAP by sanctioning a USDA study that found that $1 in SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in gross domestic product (GDP). Mark Zandi, of Moody’s Economy.com, confirmed the economic boost in an independent study that found that every SNAP dollar spent generates $1.73 in real GDP increase. “Expanding food stamps,” the study read, “is the most effective way to prime the economy’s pump.”

It is important to point out that SNAP benefits go to those who need them most. USDA’s Amber Waves recently wrote that Read the rest of this entry »

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