Food Security Paramount to National Security


The following is a release from the Montana Farm Bureau Federation: 


The recent “Superstorm Sandy” not only left millions without power but many grocery stores found their shelves bare not only in the pre-storm rush of residents to stock up, but in the after-storm difficulty of getting goods from Point A to Point B. 


“It’s in times like these, following a natural disaster, that people recognize the value of  having food security, meaning food produced in our country,”  notes Jake Cummins, executive vice president, Montana Farm Bureau. “Food security is paramount, yet often it’s taken for granted.”


Cummins explains greater economic stability for agriculture is an important public policy goal. “It is not an exaggeration to call our farm policy an issue of national security. Almost everyone in our country can walk into a grocery store at any time of year and find a wide selection of fresh produce, along with a variety of meat and dairy products, and a plethora of canned goods. You don’t often think about what it would be like if the selection was greatly reduced or eliminated, which could happen if we imported the majority of our food.”


“I realize the local food movement is growing, and although local food certainly can’t be relied upon to provide all of food and nutritional needs, it’s certainly rewarding to know that, in some cases, some of the food we’re enjoying came from just down the road,” says Cummins. “However, in a natural disaster, a local greenhouse could wash away or a local dairy could get flooded out, so having well-stocked shelves of food in the grocery store because trucks can bring food in from a distance  is security as well. We export a lot of what we grow, but America’s farmers and ranchers work every day to provide food for the citizens of this country, first and foremost.”


Cummins gives American energy the thumbs up for providing energy security. “Again, people without power realize how important it is that we have a national energy policy that includes energy production right here in the U.S.,” says Cummins. “As we’ve seen with political ups and downs in the Middle East, prices can fluctuate greatly, and you don’t’ want to suddenly find an unstable government has shut down your energy supply, leaving you in the dark and on foot. That’s why supporting all of our home-based energy, from oil and coal to natural gas, biofuels and wind, is extremely critical.”


On average, America's consumers spend just 10 percent of their disposable personal income on food –lower than any other nation on the planet. That leaves the bulk of personal income available for purchasing the items that bring quality to American life. “Food security forms the foundation of a culture's prosperity and social stability,” Cummins concludes.



Source:  Montana Farm Bureau Federation

Posted by Haylie Shipp



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