It is becoming politically popular for cities and counties to ban single-use plastic bags for groceries and certain other items in the name of protecting the environment. People living in jurisdictions where such bans are being considered may benefit from my experience in Minneapolis.
In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Julie Kelly, one of the leading, non-scientist, voices in the contentious debate over America’s food system, joins the show to talk about Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs).
First Lady Michelle Obama touted the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 as a way to make school meals more nutritious and accessible to reduce childhood obesity rates. But after more than five years, the program has few positive results: a recent study shows childhood obesity levels haven’t declined (and in some demographics, have increased), food waste at schools is way up, and kids from families that don’t need subsidized meals still get them, courtesy of federal taxpayers.
In a free-market economy, people have healthy incentives to work and save, to form businesses and invest, to explore, innovate and invent, in these and other ways “to truck and barter.” The incessant desire of man to do better, whether through profit or achievement or goodness, when governed by the rule of law, leads to a progressive society.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—also known as the ethanol mandate—was passed by Congress in 2005 and expanded in 2007. Regardless of market conditions, it required ever-increasing quantities of biofuel be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply—though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does have the flexibility to make some adjustments based on conditions, such as availability and infrastructure.
Controversy continues to rage over whether foods from plants modified with molecular genetic engineering techniques should have to be labeled as such. The battle has been fought for years in the media, Congress, state legislatures, federal courts and through referendum issues. Most mandatory-labeling proposals have failed, and none is currently in effect–for good reason: They fail every test–scientific, economic, legal and common sense. That hasn’t prevented the more ignorant and ideological legislators from continuing to try.
A Leftist governmental principle is the Butterfly Effect: “A property of chaotic systems…by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system.”
In its endless attempt to turn the country into one giant Weight Watchers meeting, the Obama Administration tucked away a little-known provision in the health care law that authorizes the FDA to force certain businesses to post the calorie count for every menu item.
Climate activists are ratcheting up their attempt to blame global warming on food production and consumption, targeting the meat industry in particular. As the public tunes out stale climate-change rhetoric, climatarians hope to turn attention away from your SUV and onto your dinner plate.
Carbon enters Earth’s cycle of life via plants, which extract it from the rare and precious carbon dioxide plant-food in the atmosphere. Living things use this carbon, plus water, oxygen and minerals, to create the proteins, fats, carbohydrates and skeletons they need.
The media are, of course, almost uniformly Leftist – which means they just about always toe the Party line. Including the belief that in order to help the poor – government must perpetually grow. Of course we conservatives also want to help the poor – we just think shrinking government is the way to actually do it.
Over the past 30 years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have become as bloated as the nation’s collective waistline, serving up a thick brew of revolving-door nutrition advice, confusing messages, and perhaps even politically influenced eating recommendations.
Beginning in 1983 the government changed its method of calculation to show lower inflation by excluding food and energy, claiming they were too volatile to be reliable indicators. The result is the so-called “core inflation” CPI, which is a favorite of the Federal Reserve. The latest figure for this CPI reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is 0.4% (for August and also July), but if calculated by the method used in 1980 the inflation rate would be 7½ percent, as shown by Shadow Government Statistics (ShadowStats.com).
There is no way to describe current Federal Reserve policy other than as monetary confusion and misdirection. In a nutshell, Janet Yellen and the other members of the Fed’s Board of Governors have no idea what to do. Do they raise certain interest rates over which they have some direct influence? Do they keep them at their current rock bottom levels, as they have for the last six years?
In this edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Paul Driessen from a Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Heartland Institute research fellow Isaac Orr discuss the environmental and economic impacts of ethanol in the United States. The podcast sheds light on the empty promises of ethanol such as energy independence and environmental benefits.
Approximately 800 million people are currently malnourished, and the world’s population is expected to rise by 2 billion by the year 2050. If we use current technologies—or, Heaven forbid, roll back use of modern agricultural practices—we will have to plow down literally millions of acres to relieve the projected hunger expected to come as a result of the growing population. Fortunately, a widespread embrace of biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) crops can help ensure there is enough food for all.
The environmental movement has tried for years to promote world governments that control all activities of its citizens through environmental scares that demand community actions. Dangers from global warming, natural gas, and increasing food supply with genetically modified foods are recent examples.
The plan will result in higher electricity costs for businesses and families, lost jobs, lower incomes, higher poverty rates, reduced living standards, and diminished health and welfare, our exhaustive recent study found. This damage will be inflicted at the national level and in all 50 states. The CPP will impact all low-income groups, but hit America’s 128 million Blacks and Hispanics especially hard.