Those are just a couple of the adjectives Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) used to describeTrump’s latest scheme to prop up industrial agriculture and Big Food, while delivering another hit to the health and well-being of America’s most vulnerable families.
Trump’s “America’s Harvest Box” plan would slash, by nearly half, the amount of money provided to families who are struggling to put food on their tables. Instead of being able to purchase locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, families would receive a box of government-issued “shelf-stable” food products such as peanut butter, canned goods (including meat from factory farms), pasta, cereal, “shelf stable” milk and other products.
In other words, some of the highest-calorie, least nutritious food available, most of it produced with pesticides.
Trump claims the “Harvest Box” food would be “preselected for nutritional value and economic benefit to American farmers.”
But the only farmers who would benefit under the Trump’s proposal are the already heavily subsidized growers of industrial GMO crops—the kind grown with massive amounts of chemicals, and used to make highly processed foods that dish up plenty of calories with minimal nutritional value.
Trump’s “Harvest Box” scheme has been met with widespread scorn, including from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which told Politico the idea is “a Rube-Goldberg designed system” that would be “costly, inefficient, stigmatizing and prone to failure.”
But that doesn’t mean the plan is dead on arrival. "America's Harvest Box" has the full support of Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who recently told the Los Angeles Times the plan should be “seriously considered and debated."
Given what we’ve seen come out of the Trump administration so far, we can’t count on saner heads to prevail. So we’re asking you to ask your members of Congress to give Trump’s “Harvest Box” plan a big thumbs down.