Photo credit: Getty
Found time yet to leaf through the nearly 1,000-page-long 2014 Farm Bill? No? Don’t feel too badly. A thousand pages is, like, longer than some “Game of Thrones” books. And there definitely aren’t any dragons in this thing.
Jokes aside, the bill does affect you. Or it will, once President Obama signs it at the end of this week as he’s expected to do. Read on for everything you need to know.
1. The food stamps program, or SNAP, will lose $8 billion in funding over the next ten years.
Even if you’re not on food stamps, it’s totally possible someone you know is on them. This budget cut will entail reduced benefits for about 850,000 families across the United States, or about $90 per household each month. Critics are calling this “absolutely devastating.”
2. Labels on your meat will have more information.
Going forward, pork, beef, and chicken sold stateside will be required to feature labels detailing where the animal was born, raised, and slaughtered. Translation: more transparency in the food chain.
3. The open prairie may stay open thanks to conservation efforts.
The bill puts in place measures that will help protect wetlands and grasslands on the prairie, which over the last few years have been converted to farmland at an alarming rate. Good news for that scenic summer road trip you’ve got planned.
4. One day soon, the rice in your sushi may have been grown in America.
A new subsidy for sushi rice, or japonica rice, will encourage more American farmers to start growing the grain.
5. Attending a cockfight will become a federal crime.
In fact, attending any animal fight will become a federal crime. (We’re surprised it wasn’t already, to be honest.)
6. The catfish in your fried catfish sandwich will have been inspected before it reached your plate.
The bill protects a new catfish inspection program that was, in part, inspired by a 2007 incident in which drugs banned in American farmed fish were found in imported Chinese seafood.
We suggest giving this New York Times piece a look if you’re interested in learning more. Or if you’re really feeling ambitious, read the actual bill. This is a complicated issue, folks. Couldn’t hurt to start reading.