Yay! The NY Times posted a letter to the editor in response to Michael Pollan's op-ed. It wasn't mine, but that's how advocates work together. If we all send in enough letters, it proves there is enough interest in a topic to print even one. This one had a very clever NY baseball analogy and was written by the Exec Director of the NYC Coalition of Hunger, so it's fitting the NY Times chose his.
Hunger and the Farm Bill
Published: November 12, 2007
To the Editor:
In “Weed It and Reap” (Op-Ed, Nov. 4), Michael Pollan claims that environmentalists and the “hunger lobby” were bought off on the farm bill, giving our support to the harmful “elephant in the room” — agribusiness subsidies — in exchange for financing for conservation programs and food stamps, which he derides as merely “fleas.”
But blaming us for bad farm bills is like blaming long-suffering Mets fans seated in the far upper deck at Shea Stadium for the team’s overpaid players and year-end collapse.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, agribusinesses contributed more than $399 million to federal political campaigns between 1990 and 2006. In contrast, even when some antihunger groups (like mine) risk alienating donors by opposing corporate farm welfare, we hardly have an impact on this big-money debate.
Considering that the food stamp program helps more than 26 million Americans each month, it is no mere “flea.” Fighting to help millions avoid starvation, antihunger advocates take what we can get.
Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger
New York, Nov. 4, 2007