Can’t Decide on Blue or Red, Vote Green

Validly, most of the politics around green issues have focused on energy, but there is another equally important issue, one that impacts all of us on a personal scale in terms of our family’s health, our environment and the sustainability of locally grown food.

 

McCain’s platform to support rural farming opens with “establishing a comprehensive energy strategy” and then continues onto  topics like preserving property rights (only in rural America?) and common-sense conservation and food safety measures (if it’s common sense can’t I handle this one without the government?). McCain wants to secure America’s borders and implement a fair and practical immigration policy; and one of my favorite programs for rural farmers:  “Strengthen America’s economic competitiveness by eliminating wasteful government spending”. To show his support and enthusiasm for these programs, McCain didn’t show up for the Farm Bill vote and despite his insistent threat to repeal the bill, hasn’t proposed how he’d stop big agribusiness from profiting off programs that by name, sound like they’re designed to help farmers (not billionaires with racing horses).

 

Obama’s rural agribusiness platform also centers heavily on energy and biofuels but takes a solid stance on federal farm programs to help family farms get the credit and funding they need to operate or expand. He calls for regulation from the EPA to monitor pollution from CAFOS with real fines for those who violate air and water quality standards. Obama has pledged to  provide incentives for new, young farmers and will increase funding for the “National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to help farmers afford the costs of compliance with national organic certification standards”. If elected, Obama also promised to provide capital for farmers to create value-added enterprises, like cooperative marketing initiatives and farmer-owned processing plants.

 

I live in RI and without exception I believe we have access to some of the greatest native food: oysters, lobsters, cheese, milk, heirloom tomatoes, apples, pumpkins and I am so sad when our farmer’s market rolls around every season and I hear about another local farm that just didn’t make it. When it comes to buying food, I think we should all think local, and if you can find local organic all the better. But ultimately, buying your food locally is good for your local economy, good for family farmers, good for your health, and good for the environment.

 

 

This vote for me is not about red or blue, it is about green. As a mom and believer in eating green (that goes beyond your veggies), I want my children to eat food that is fresh and food that is local because I believe it is as good for them as much as it for the world I hope they change someday.

 Posted by KDL | follow me on Twitter: newscaster

 

 

 

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