To prepare for Food Day, numerous groups in California got together to plan a statewide petition that would address the ways the 2012 Farm Bill needs to improve to give the country a chance at building a sustainable food system. Partners included Strategic Alliance and Prevention Institute, California Food and Justice Coalition, California Food Policy Advocates, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Ecological Farming Association, Environmental Working Group, Food and Water Watch, Hunger Action LA, Orange County Food Access Coalition, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network, PolicyLink, Public Health Institute, Roots of Change, Slow Food Bay Area, Slow Food Los Angeles and others.
The petition is here. In honor of Food Day, please share it on for as many signatures as we can get by November 1st!
Here, from the Prevention Institute website, is the text:
Sign On to California’s Food Day Farm Bill Petition
California needs a Farm Bill that bolsters our health, agricultural industry, economy, and environment, while keeping equity and sustainability at the forefront. Tell California’s leaders you want healthy and sustainable food policy!
Lack of access to healthy food and beverages is contributing to high rates of diet-related disease – including diabetes, cancer and heart disease – and costing the nation billions in added health care expenses — more than $20 billion a year in California and at least $150 billion annually nationwide. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that fruits and vegetables make up half of our plates at mealtimes, only 4 percent of adults get the recommended number of servings of produce.
As the nation’s largest agricultural producer, California grows nearly half of the nation’s fruit, nuts and vegetables, making its food and agriculture sector a powerful engine for local and national economic growth. Yet, only a tiny fraction of the federal funding in the last Farm Bill encourages the production of these healthy foods. And of that fraction, too few resources go toward building dynamic local food economies that provide local jobs and economic opportunities for beginning, small and mid-size farmers and ranchers, and rural communities.
Congress is about to make key decisions about food and farm policy. Tell Governor Brown and California’s Congressional delegation to stand up for healthy food and healthy farms today!
As Congress debates budget priorities and writes a new Food and Farm Bill, I urge you to fully support policies, programs and legislation that encourage healthy diets, provide greater access to healthy food and beverages in schools and communities, promote conservation practices on farms, foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers and build thriving local, sustainable food systems. Smart spending policies today will reduce health-care costs, protect local farmland and the environment, create new jobs and generate economic opportunities for farmers, ranchers, rural and urban communities. Please support a new Food and Farm Bill in line with today’s needs. In the last century, the bill successfully ensured an abundant supply of cheap but often lower-quality calories. In this century, it must support healthier diets, promote diverse, sustainable and resilient farming systems and help eliminate hunger.
I urge you to:
- Support full funding for programs that increase economic opportunities for small and mid-sized farms and ranches and increase consumers’ access to local, healthful and sustainable/organic food.
- Protect and strengthen USDA nutrition assistance programs that fight hunger and improve nutrition.
- Increase access to and affordability of healthy foods and beverages in underserved communities and promote healthier diets for all Americans, especially children.
- Maintain full funding for agriculture conservation, research and extension programs.