Rodale Institute Didn't Hold Back In Its Criticism Of The US Food System

The House Agriculture Committee welcomed five witnesses for a hearing titled "Soil Health Practices and Programs that Support Regenerative Agriculture" on September 14, 2022. These witnesses, according to the New Jersey Monitor, were farmers and academics who implored the committee to include protections for topsoil health in the upcoming farm bill. The committee's chair, David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, explained his reason for holding the hearing, saying an "investment in soil health would curb climate change and prevent a food shortage."

The CEO of the Rodale Institute, a nonprofit based in Pennsylvania, was one of those witnesses. When Rodale isn't setting the record straight on myths about organic foods, they educate consumers, train farmers, and conduct research into methods of regenerative farming. They're champions and advocates for organic farming practices, and Jeff Moyer, Rodale's CEO didn't mince words when it came to testify about the state of soil health in the U.S and what needs to be done about it.

What did the Rodale Institute say about the U.S. food system?

Pennsylvania television station WFMZ, live-streamed the hearing, and viewers could watch Jeff Moyer explain that chemical pesticides, government subsidies for unhealthy foods, and unstable supply chains, coupled with an insufficient focus on soil health have led him to the conclusion that "America's food system is broken." Moyer also stated that "conventional agriculture models are degrading American soil" (via New Jersey Monitor).

Moyer wasn't without hope though, saying, "This is not a doomsday scenario" (via WFMZ).  He pointed out, "We have the tools and the time to fix this, and set our farms on a positive track, and regenerative organic agriculture is our path forward." The same day the Rodale Institute was represented in the House, the USDA announced $25 million in funding for the Institute, as part of its Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities initiative. The USDA, partnering with an array of stakeholders, aims to improve the topsoil health of our nation's farms. Moyer believes we have both the time and the tools we need to improve topsoil quality, we just need buy-in and support from lawmakers, according to WFMZ.