NEJM Article: Supporting Climate, Health, and Equity Under the Farm Bill
- Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH
- Lisa Patel, M.D., M.E.Sc.
Around the globe, people are experiencing longer and more intense periods of extreme heat and wildfires. Climate change is a growing health crisis, and agriculture is responsible for 11% U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The article “Supporting Climate, Health, and Equity under the Farm Bill,” co-authored by PHI’s Linda Rudolph, M.D., M.P.H. and Lisa Patel, M.D., M.E.Sc. and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, explores how the Farm Bill can help promote better health and a better climate future.read the article
Potential Benefits of the Farm Bill:
- First, a reauthorized Farm Bill could support the production of healthy foods and improve individual and community health by increasing access to SNAP benefits, increasing investments in the production and availability of healthy and nutritious foods, bolstering local and regional food systems, and reducing food waste.
- Second, it could foster improved farm and planetary health by increasing funding for conservation programs and sustainable and organic agriculture.
- Third, the bill could promote a fairer and more just farm system, supporting rural communities by improving access to credit and technical assistance and investing in drinking-water and wastewater infrastructure.
- Finally, it could fund research to develop tools to make U.S. food and farm systems more sustainable and resilient.
A Farm Bill focused on population and planetary health should be a policy priority. A climate-forward food system would be one that helps more local farms and farmers produce diverse specialty crops (such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts), provides incentives for adopting sustainable agricultural practices that improve soil health, reduces pollution, and results in less food waste than the current system. Making these changes could increase access to nutritious foods, improve air and water quality, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions that exacerbate climate change and contribute to extreme weather events that threaten the U.S. food supply.Linda Rudolph, M.D., M.P.H. and Lisa Patel, M.D., M.E.Sc.
“Supporting Climate, Health, and Equity under the Farm Bill,” New England Journal of Medicine
Originally published by New England Journal of Medicine