Who owns American Farmland?

The following article opened my eyes to just how quickly we can hand our food supply off to the highest bidder. The last several years have balanced my perception of agriculture in the US and abroad. While most are happy to eat dinner and not think about where the food came from on their plate, we at This Old Farm work tirelessly to make a traceable food system. We believe in this traceability for both the farming community as well as the American population who wants to know how their food is raised. While our normal reaction is to get mad at some other power whether it be government or big food companies, we need to realize that it is our own vote that makes the difference. We vote with our dollar each time we make a food purchase. I believe we need to vote to keep American land feeding Americans by supporting a Local Food system. What do you want to vote for?

Don’t stop reading until you read at least part of the article that follows……………………….

Your truly,
Jessica

By Dr. Mercola

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are a major environmental polluter, destroying both soil and waterways. Making matters worse, a large portion of the food produced by American CAFOs is not even sold in the U.S. It’s exported to China.

What’s more, Chinese companies are increasingly buying up American farmland and U.S. food producers.1 So while China is reaping the best of what rural America has to offer, all of the pollution remains on American land and in our waterways.

The U.S. is also using up precious water to grow animal feed for export. In 2014, during the worst drought on record, California farmers were using 100 billion gallons of water to grow alfalfa (hay), destined for export to China, Japan, Korea and the United Arab Emirates. The combination of polluting streams, rivers and lakes while draining the aquifers is setting ourselves up for a disaster.

At the time, professor and water policy and law expert Robert Glennon, from the University of Arizona College of Law, told BBC News:2

“A hundred billion gallons of water per year is being exported in the form of alfalfa from California. It’s a huge amount. It’s enough for a year’s supply for a million families — it’s a lot of water, particularly when you’re looking at the dreadful drought throughout the southwest.”

China Has Made Major Agricultural Acquisitions in the US

Foreign corporations are also circumventing American farmers altogether by purchasing farm land in the U.S. In 2011, Chinese companies owned $81 million worth of American farmland.

By the end of 2012, Chinese ownership had skyrocketed by 1,000 percent, to $900 million.3 They’re also buying up food producers.

In 2013, pork processor Smithfield was bought by Shaunghui, the largest meat processing company in China.4 At $7.1 billion — 30 percent above its estimated market value — it was the largest-ever Chinese buyout of an American company.

Also included in the deal was $480 million worth of American farmland.5 With this buyout, the Chinese now own 1 out of every 4 pigs raised in the U.S.

The Chinese are also buying agricultural resources in Africa, Europe, Australia, Argentina and Brazil. ChemChina (a Chinese-government-owned company) is also currently negotiating a takeover bid for Syngenta, which makes agricultural chemicals.

One of the biggest concerns with trade agreements and farm bill subsidies is that they undermine local food production systems. Shipping agriculture products around the world amounts to shipping water and leaving a trail of pollution behind. The amount of water required to support CAFO meat production primarily by growing GMO crops is astonishing.

For the full article click here.

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