MELINDA CARR HEMMELGARN, M,S., R.D.

Freelance writer, inspirational speaker, award-winning columnist & radio host.
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Food is Medicine - Farmers Need Healthcare

Ironic isn't it? The very people who produce our most healthful foods can't afford health insurance.

Whenever I interview farmers, I ask: Do you have health insurance?
Most shrug and say "no" as if I'm crazy to ask. They frequently force a laugh, and say that they "pray a lot." Or, either they or a spouse works off the farm, for the sole purpose of providing health insurance.

At the MO Governor's Summit on Food Safety this summer, one of the presenters (a farmer and now state inspector) took the podium and announced: "frankly, I took this job for the health benefits."

A farmer I interviewed for my farm hands calendar project last year said that "in a way they were lucky" -- LUCKY because her husband was disabled from the military -- that meant at least he got health benefits through the VA system.

Needing off-farm employment for health insurance also makes GMO crops and their "illusion of easy" -- all the more appealing. A sentiment I heard from several farmers at the MO Farmers' Union meeting last winter.

If we are to enjoy a safe and healthful food system, then our nation must have affordable public health insurance. It is vital to the growth of family farms, strong rural communities and our democracy.

Eat well and think critically,
Melinda

3 comments:

  1. wonderful site. and yes, we need drastic health insurance reform. NOW.

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  2. Few days ago there was a news (published in my local newspaper) about the crack down of one of the biggest health insurance scams in US. According to the news, some unethical medical practitioners abuse the system by hiring 'professional patients'. They have scammed US government million of dollar. Luckily the scam was busted.

    ReplyDelete