Test Your Food IQ: Do We Need More Farms To Grow Fruits And Veggies For All? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Test Your Food IQ: Do We Need More Farms To Grow Fruits And Veggies For All?

Think you're part of the food-literati? True or false: 13 million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.

The official answer is Yes, according to the James Beard Foundation, which put out the quiz. (You can see the whole quiz below). But we reached out to Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund who's being honored by the JBF tonight, for a slightly more nuanced response.

For starters, Clay says, it's important to point out that we import about 30 percent of the fresh fruits we consume now. So perhaps we could make up difference by increasing our imports.

But Clay says we can — and should — be smarter about what we do at home with what we already have.

"We could intensify production without expanding into additional farmland. We need to improve productivity in farming by focusing on what matters most. Instead of focusing on increasing tons of product per acre, we could focus on calories and nutrients consumed per acre or per gallon of water," he says.

So, there's really no quick and easy answer.

Here's the whole quiz:

1. Which of the following is not one of the top five commodity crops that receive subsidies through the Farm Bill?
A. Rice
B. Soybeans
C. Cotton
D. Oats

2. Which of the following crops does not qualify as specialty produce according to the Farm Bill?
A. Corn
B. Broccoli
C. Carrots
D. Cauliflower
E. None of the above

3. True or false: Thirteen million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet USDA guidelines.
A. True
B. False

4. True or false: The majority of the Farm Bill is designated for agricultural appropriations.
A. True
B. False

5. Roughly how many Americans identify themselves as farmers, according to recent Census data?
A. 2 percent
B. 5 percent
C. 10 percent
D. 20 percent

6. How much of the nation's total land area is controlled by farmers?
A. 10 percent
B. 20 percent
C. 40 percent
D. 60 percent

7. Over the last 25 years, the nation has lost roughly how many acres of farmland to development?
A. 10 million
B. 20 million

8. True or false: Since 1995, 10 percent of all farmers have received 74 percent of all subsidies:
A. True
B. False

9. True or false: Over 60 percent of farmers in the US do not collect subsidy payments:
A. True
B. False

click here for answers

P.S: JBF is hosting foodies and food thinkers today and tomorrow at a conference called "Creating a Better, More Sustainable Food World We Can Trust." (You can watch it all on the live stream.) I was supposed to be there moderating but was felled by a stomach bug, so I'm at home in DC recovering with some chamomile tea.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Impressionist Hero Édouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles

Manet was not himself an Impressionist, but he mightily influenced the movement. Two of his paintings are now in L.A. The Railway is making its West Coast debut, and Spring just sold for $65 million.
NPR

Stone Age Britons Were Eating Wheat 2,000 Years Before They Farmed It

Scientists have recovered cultivated wheat DNA from an 8,000-year-old submerged site off the British coast. The finding suggests hunter-gatherers were trading for the grain long before they grew it.
WAMU 88.5

Paycheck Politics And The Homeland Security Bill

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is blasting Republicans who claim that the department's workers can weather a temporary shutdown if Congress can't finish legislation to fund the department by the end of Friday.

NPR

Fines Remain Rare Even As Health Data Breaches Multiply

Since 2009, a federal watchdog has levied only 22 penalties against health care organizations for failing to safeguard information about patients.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.