In North America billions of federal taxpayer dollars are used to subsidize unhealthy, processed foods instead of the fruits and vegetables recommended for a healthy diet. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The US Congress is currently debating practical changes to agricultural policies that can shift priorities to provide greater support to healthier food and healthier farms.

A new Union of Concerned Scientists report has found that farmers growing healthy foods, or those who want to farm with organic methods, face significant barriers that other farmers—especially those growing ingredients for processed foods—do not.

Simple adjustments to agricultural policies in the Farm Bill can help farmers overcome these barriers, which will benefit our health, protect the environment, and support local economies. Last week, the Senate began debating the Farm Bill, but much more needs to be done to include these recommendations.

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