The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has paid $7 billion in subsidies under what the government agency calls “Agriculture Risk Coverage” and “Price Loss Coverage,” according to Colin Lokey of finance website Zero Hedge. Lokey points out that this bailout, derived from taxpayer funds, will mostly be allocated to Midwest corn farmers. In addition to its role as feed in animal agriculture, corn is among the seven most federally subsidized foods in the country (including soybeans, wheat, rice, sorghum, meat, and milk) which account for the majority of calories consumed by Americans. Despite research indicating that consumption of the top seven subsidized foods makes Americans 37 percent more likely to become obese, this year’s crop subsidy is 35 percent higher than the $5.2 billion bailout that the USDA issued in 2015.
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