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The Politics of Gardening

White House Garden 

Some people use gardening as an escape from the trials and tribulations of the real world. It’s their time to get their hands dirty, connect with the earth and just be in their garden.

There is definitely that aspect of gardening, but gardening, especially growing your own food is also a political act and one that is rooted in the political system.

With the state that our current food system is in, to ignore how growing your own food is a political statement would be doing it a disservice.

Here are four articles that discuss the ties between growing food and politics:

USDA’s My Plate

During the first half of 2011, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the latest USDA Dietary Guidelines in the form of plate. I don’t even want to discuss what the drawing actually looks like. The fact that $2 million and 2 years were spent to develop the drawing is what irks me since it doesn’t address the real issues with our food system.

Food Activism
By simply growing some of your own food, you are making a political statement. You are taking some of your dollars out of the current food system. While this might be a small act, it is one that shows the corporations that you don’t have to fully rely on their system.

Budget Cuts
Back in April 2011, Congress proposed that the budgets be cut to ensure food and water safety programs. Of all the things to cut money from this is what they decided? Just another reason to grow your own food and not depend on what they have to offer.

The White House Garden
Mrs. Obama is part of this article as well. In the media, you see her doing a lot to promote a healthy lifestyle with kids. There are plenty of pictures of her with the garden in front of the White House, but her husband is doing the dirty work and deregulating genetically modified crops. Makes you wonder if she is just providing a distraction for her husband.

What are some other political stories tied to growing food?

Photo courtesy of USDAGov