Originally Posted by Benay
Thanks for the insight into how the USDA controls farmers
In the same way, the Guidelines control any and all businesses that are designed for weight loss
Food manufacturers are also limited to the USDA guidelines
It's subtle and unreported, but BIG BROTHER remains in control
I just read the other day that 80-some percent of the farm production in this country comes from family owned farms (not just the number of farms, the total amount of food produced) - just like my family's farm. I don't know if that's an accurate figure (it was just a meme I saw, so who knows where they got the figure, or if they just made it up), but even if it's closer to 50%, the point is that we have a few mega-farm/factory farm owners controlling what the USDA and other gov't agencies related to food access do and allow - the factory farm corporations just happen to have a much greater influence with the gov't agencies than the vast majority of farmers.
As was shown in another post, we have only a few companies controlling almost all products which are found on the store shelves (and the ingredients used in them). International companies own many grocery chains in the US. The local family owned stores simply can't compete on shelf prices, because an individual store can't sell anywhere near enough to negotiate the wholesale price-breaks that a large chain of stores can obtain.
Just in the past year in our primarily rural county alone, 5 formerly very successful family owned stores owned by 3 separate families (two had multiple locations) have closed, and sold out their stores to the same international grocery corporation. They already had a lot of locations in the county, but those retail site purchases mean this particular international company now owns more than half
of the grocery stores in the county where I live.
We still have a few family owned stores around here - but for how long, before they give up trying to compete and sell out too? There's one family owned grocer just a mile up the road that's trying to get variances to build a residential/retail/restaurant complex on property they already own. The locality is so far denying the variances (mostly has to do with traffic concerns). My belief is that if they don't get the necessary variances and permits, their store will be the next to close and most likely be taken over by the same international grocer that already controls so many locations around here.
Not only is the family farm being squeezed out by corporate mega farms, the same thing is happening with family owned retail locations, and with it, further limiting our access to locally produced food choices.