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What’s SNAP Got To Do With It?

The original food stamps were actual stamps. If you bought one dollar of orange stamps, you'd get fifty cents in blue stamps to purchase US commodity surplus food items. (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum /Public domain)

It was viewed as a shameful threat to the free market. It was viewed as un-American, kind of a charitable handout to folks that needed to be pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Today’s show features an interview with Angela Babb of Indiana University’s Department of Geography, talking about the origins of the farm bill, and how nutrition assistance programs like SNAP (A.K.A. Food Stamps) got lumped in with agriculture policy.

Tune in next week for the second part of our conversation with Angela Babb, where we talk about the USDA's conflict of interest in being responsible for marketing and distributing surplus commodities, while also being the agency that sets nutrition guidelines for government food assistance programs. 

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Harvest Public Media has a story on the possible comeback of Hemp, as congress considers legalizing the crop nationally.

Chef Daniel Orr has a recipe for Welsh Cakes to share with us, and we’ve got new Earth Eats theme music, by Erin Tobey

Listen to more from Erin Tobey, and order her latest release, Middlemaze,

Stories On This Episode

Hemp Farmers Show Excitement And Concern Over Possible Federal Legalization

Hemp could make a comeback as congress considers legalizing the crop nationally

Study Says Savvy Farmers Could Raise Carbon-Neutral Beef

Researchers say better management of cattle grazing can make beef carbon-neutral over the long term.

Farmer Mental Health Bills: Are They Enough?

As essential legislation passes to provide farmers with mental health services, the conversation is shifting to deeper causes of farmer suicide and longer term solutions.

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