Why is meat so cheap? McDonald’s sells a McDouble burger for less than $2. A rotisserie chicken costs $4.99 at Costco. Government policy comes into play. Farmers get low-cost water. Cows, pigs and chickens eat federally-subsidized corn. The USDA and the Small Business Administration guarantee loans to farmers, including owners of CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). Animal agriculture benefits from federal commodity checkoff programs that fund marketing (“Beef, it’s what’s for dinner”). They take advantage of taxpayer-funded research at state universities. Prison inmates raise cattle in Kentucky, and they process ground meat and poultry in Florida.
A new nonprofit organization called The Greenfield Project aims to find out.
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"We’re going to push for rules and policies that we think will help animals—and consumers, their health and the environment,” Hallinan told me when we met last week in a D.C. coffee shop.
What are the costs of all these policies, and what, if any, are the benefits?
Launched last spring by Liz Hallinan and Ashley Allen Carr, with a $500,000 grant from the Open Philanthropy Project, The Greenfield Project will conduct research, do regulatory and legal analysis and education, and connect farmers to consumers, all with the goal of cultivating “a more joyful and resilient food system.” It hopes to support small and mid-sized farms that treat their animals and the environment well.
Read the full article by Marc Gunther published by Nonprofit Chronicles.
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