Food politics: European version
I’m always suprised when people ask me what I mean by “food politics.” What, they say, does politics have to do with food? Here’s a good example: European farm subsidies. These were originally supposed to promote farm production, but today the European Union drops $75 billion, at least a third of it for other purposes. As an investigative report in the New York Times explains, the biggest subsidies – just as in the U.S. – go to the wealthiest recipients. A typical small farmer in Romania gets $550. But the Queen of England and the Prince of Monaco get $700,000 or more, each, and Cargill, that needy company, got $14 million. And then there are subsidies like this one: €127,000 for Ligabue, a Venetian caterer, for sugar and dairy packets considered as exports because they are consumed on cruise ships? Why do I think politics enters into this somehow?