Saturday, December 06, 2008

Walking through the fields on a beautiful day

One evening while scouting the fields, I could not resist recording the sunset and the sounds of the birds and insects. The month of August was unusually wet, giving an added boost to the soybeans while flowering and setting pods. Though the highway was nearly a half mile away, the sounds of the traffic was as if they were within a hundred yards, even though you cannot see the road from my vantage point.

video

It's days like this that brings joy to the soul. Peaceful, contemplative and energizing the spirit.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Link between farm subsidies and obesity...tenuous at best

Noted New York Times writer and author, Michael Pollan, among others, suggests there is a strong link between obesity in the general population and farm subsidies.

A recent study by John C. Beghin and Helen H. Jensen, Iowa State economics professors, concludes the connection is very weak, at best. The study found that the farm value of the sweetened food items is very small (below 5%). Also, countries with different or no commodity programs experience similar increases in consumption of added sweeteners.

Their conclusion was that "the current link between the US consumption of caloric sweeteners and farm policy is tenuous, although historically the link was stronger." For the full text of the report, click on the link here: http://www.card.iastate.edu/publications/synopsis.aspx?id=1069

Another link for another publication, Effects of Agricultural Policies on Human Nutrition and Obesity, click here: http://www.card.iastate.edu/research/fnp/items/NRI_obesity_poster.pdf