Policies not conducive to growing food

As someone who farmed most of his lifetime, I believe it has become increasingly apparent that current U.S. agricultural and trade policy is not conducive to growing edible food for people.

The idea that the United States feeds the world is a myth. Currently, most U.S. farmers go to the grocery store to buy most of the food they eat. A growing amount of the food we eat is grown outside of the United States. A March 13 article in the New York Times states the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service found that in 2016, 53.1 percent of the fresh fruit eaten in the United States was imported. This is up from 23 percent in 1975. Fresh vegetable imports were 31 percent of consumption, up from 5.8 percent in 1975.

Here in Nebraska, sometimes referred to as the heart of the nation’s breadbasket, $4.4 billion is spent annually for food, yet only 10 percent of those dollars are spent on products grown and processed in the state. This statistic is from a 2010 study researched by the Crossroad Research Center in Minneapolis.