When Jack Hedin, a Minnesota farmer, rented a few acres of land from neighboring corn farms to grow watermelons, tomatoes and other vegetables for a local health food store, he learned first-hand how unhelpful farm subsidies can be.
Jack ended up paying $8,771 in fines for one growing season  because, as he learned, it's illegal to use land marked for corn to grow anything that isn't subsidized. So, the ubiquitous main ingredients in processed junk food, corn and soy? Good to go. Fresh fruits and vegetables? Not so fast.
At a time when nearly one in three kids in the United States is overweight or obese, we can't let our farm policies continue to underwrite junk food.
Right now, the congressional super committee on deficit reduction is considering ending junk food subsidies. This is our best chance to reform this damaging farm policy, and we're hoping to get another 40 supporters to give $40 to expand our campaign.
The public is increasingly aware that agribusiness subsidies are misdirected, and the super committee is debating cutting the worst of them as part of Congress' work to balance the budget. It's the kind of no-brainer budget cut that the super committee should be making. But big agribusinesses — to prevent small farmers like Jack from competing — are doing everything they can to keep these handouts.
- The richest 4% of agribusinesses — which includes giants Cargill and Monsanto — receive almost 75% of the subsidies. 
- 62% of U.S. farmers receive no subsidy payments at all. 
- In the last presidential election year alone, big agribusinesses spent more than $200 million on lobbying and campaign contributions. 
- Cargill, one such giant agribusiness, is receiving government assistance even though it's the largest privately-owned corporation in America and recently reported quarterly profits of $1.49 billion. 
. Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database.
. Agribusiness campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures, OpenSecrets.org, 2008.
. Cargill reports second-quarter fiscal 2011 earnings, Jan. 12, 2011.
Also see this entire article below from Food Safety News here: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/10/pesticides-are-good-for-you/