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Consumer Pays Highest Price for Farm Penalties

March 10, 2008

Farmer Jack Hedin argues in a recent New York Times editorial that “consumers…will be dismayed to learn that the federal government works deliberately and forcefully to prevent the local food movement from expanding.” A vegetable farmer from Rushford Minnesota, Hedin was forced to pay federal fines and give up his federal subsidy after growing fruits and vegetables for a local natural food store on land that the government had allocated for corn. This federal backlash, Hedin argues, is an attempt to insulate produce giants in California, Florida and Texas from outside competition, leaving consumers either paying higher prices for lower-quality produce or stranded in produce “deserts” where they have little or no access to any fresh produce, as is increasingly the case in city neighborhoods.

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