Market incentives could bring U.S. agriculture and nutrition policies into accord
Hilgardia 60(1):8-13. DOI:10.3733/ca.v060n01p8. January 2006.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) could help improve public health by creating a retail-based mechanism to provide participants in its Food Stamp Program (FSP) with significant monetary incentives to purchase health-promoting foods, such as minimally processed fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products. Increasing the consumption of such foods is of immediate importance in combating skyrocketing rates of diet-related chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity, all of which disproportionately affect low-income consumers. This incentive program could be paid for out of the tens of billions of dollars currently spent on annual commodity support payments. The redirected funds could be used to reimburse retailers and wholesaler-distributors for lost revenues, and to provide growers and processors with direct payments. The USDA would do well to consider such an approach because U.S. farm and nutrition policies often lack coherence and are not designed specifically to improve the health of U.S. consumers. This approach would also benefit California specialty crop growers, who currently receive a small proportion of federal subsidies and no direct commodity payments whatsoever.
California Food Policy Advocates. 2003. Lost dollars, empty plates, http://www.cfpa.net/LostDollars2003.pdf (accessed July 22, 2005).
Drewnowski A, Barratt-Fornell A. Do healthier diets cost more?. Nutrition Today. 2004. 39(4):161-8. https://doi.org/10.1097/00017285-200407000-00006
Environmental Working Group. Farm Subsidy Database, Commodity Programs, U.S. and California Summaries, 1995–2003. 2004. http://www.ewg.org/farm/region.php?fips=00000 (accessed June 22, 2005).
Food Research and Action Center. Food Stamp Participation Access Rates State-by-State. 2003. http://www.frac.org/html/federal_food_programs/FSP/Participation_Rates_03.html (accessed July 22, 2005).
French SA. Pricing effects on food choices. J Nutrition. 2003. 133:8415-35.
Glanz K, Basil M, Maibach E, et al. Why Americans eat what they do: Taste, nutrition, cost, convenience, and weight control concerns as influences on food consumption. J Amer Dietetic Assoc. 1998. 98:1118-26. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(98)00260-0
Guthrie JF, B-H Lin, Reed J, Stewart H. Understanding economic and behavioral influences on fruit and vegetable choices. 2005. Amber Waves, April, http://www.ers.usda.gov/Amberwaves/April05/Features/FruitAnd-VegChoices.htm (accessed June 22, 2005).
Joy AB, Bunch S, Davis M, Fujii J. USDA program stimulates interest in farmers' markets among low-income women. Cal Ag. 2001. 55(3):38-41.
Kuchler F, Golan E, Variyam JN, Crutchfield SR. Obesity policy and the law of unintended consequences. 2005. Amber Waves, June. http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/June05/Features/ObesityPolicy.htm (accessed June 22, 2005).
Levedahl JW, Oliveira V., Frazao E. Dietary impacts of food assistance programs. America's Eating Habits. 1999. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. 322.
Nestle M. The ironic politics of obesity. Science. 2000. 299(5608):781-https://doi.org/10.1126/science.299.5608.781
Serdula MK, Gillespie C, Kettel-Khan L, et al. Trends in fruit and vegetable consumption among adults in the United States: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 1994–2000. Amer J Public Health. 2004. 94(6):1014-8. PubMed PMID: 15249308
[USDA-FNS] US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. Office of Analysis, Nutrition and Evaluation. 2004. Characteristics of Food Stamp Households, Fiscal Year 2003. http://www.fns.usda.gov/oane/MENU/Published/FSP/FILES/Participation/2003Characteristics.pdf (accessed June 22, 2005).
[USDA-HHS] USDA Department of Health and Human Services. 2005. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, http://www.healthierus.gov/dietary-guidelines .
[USDA-NASS] USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. 2002 Census of Agriculture. 2004. http://www.nass.usda.gov/census (accessed June 22, 2005).
Also in this issue:Feedforward-Feedback Control of a Cross-Flow Grain Dryer
California Agriculture delivers access to peer-reviewed research
Letters: January-March 2006
Panel debates next Farm Bill's impact on California
Central Coast consumers want more food-related information, from safety to ethics
Food behavior checklist effectively evaluates nutrition education
Smaller loads reduce risk of back injuries during wine grape harvest
New controls investigated for vine mealybug