Healthy Food System Campaign


Indigenous cultures have long known about food’s healing properties, and Western medicine is beginning to acknowledge the relationship between a healthy diet and a healthy heart, liver, immune system, and more. In the U.S, this connection is being threatened by the corporate takeover of our food system.

The industrial, monopoly-controlled food production system is hazardous to our health.

Consolidated corporations have made food production harmful to farmers, workers, and neighbors by relying on extractive, mechanized, and industrialized practices. These include the intensive confinement of farm animals and the dependence on chemical pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. All of these pose significant and well-documented risks to human health. What’s more, the end products of this system are also harmful. The industrial food system is designed to efficiently churn out vast quantities of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods that lead to preventable illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

This situation is all thanks to our agricultural policies, which determine what gets priority in our food system.

For example, the food the government recommends eating is not the same food it supports financially: The official nutrition guidelines recommend filling your plate with 50% fruits and vegetables, but commodity crops like corn and soybeans receive the bulk of government subsidies. These are used to make cheap sugars, starches, and oils that end up in highly-processed junk foods.

Why do our food policies drive poor nutrition? Because corporations want it that way. In a financial mechanism called the “Feed-Meat Complex,” subsidized corn and soybeans are turned into cheap industrial livestock feed. More than a quarter of 2019 farm spending supported industrial meat, poultry, eggs, and animal feed. This taxpayer-backed assistance ultimately benefits meatpacking monopoly corporations, which have for decades wielded their political power to shape a system that suits them — even as it harms Americans.

We now have a public health crisis of preventable, diet-related illnesses — caused by our food policies.

Eating the food that the government subsidizes is taking a toll on our health: more than 10% of us have diabetes, and more than 40% are classified as obese. A 2021 Rockefeller report estimated that the human health impacts — obesity rates, air and water pollution, food scarcity, and more — of our industrialized food system cost $1.1 trillion annually. We can’t afford not to act. 


Farm Action is working to realign our food and farm policies so that farmers are fairly compensated for feeding their neighbors nutritious food. With the right reforms, our local and regional food systems should make healthy fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and regeneratively-raised animal proteins accessible and affordable to all. 

We’re telling Congress that we want Food, Not Feed. 

At this point, our inverted priorities are making us vulnerable, and it’s a national security issue. We need to shift support away from commodity crops that feed industrial livestock and toward the production of food that feeds people, like fiber-rich foods and regeneratively-raised animal proteins. Join us in telling Congress: It’s time to support Food, Not Feed with a Fair Farm Bill!

Farm Action is engaging with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

50 years ago, the last conference established much of the current U.S. food policy framework. Farm Action is not sitting on the sidelines and missing out on this once in a half-century opportunity to bring about a just, healthy, and safe food system.

Farm Action’s staff have testified at virtual listening sessions and in-person National Convenings, bringing the farmer perspective into policy discussions focused on improving public health through food: Americans need improved access to healthy food, the government should support growing it here in the U.S. Our formal policy recommendations to the White House make it very clear: As the source of nutritious food, farmers should be an integral part of the solution to our nation’s health crisis.

Stick with us to bring about a healthier food system — and a healthier population!



Stay connected

The Farm Action News Roundup is a biweekly newsletter with breaking news, upcoming events, and thoughtful coverage about the fight against monopoly power. Farm Action Alerts are new way for you to join the fight against monopoly corporations. We will send only the most effective and streamlined alerts so that you can take direct action straight from your inbox. In mere minutes, you can help build a more fair food system. 

Support our advocacy

Show your support for our movement by making a direct donation to the Farm Action network. We cannot do this work without you!