Baylen Linnekin on *Biting the Hands that Feed Us*

The last time Baylen Linnekin joined the show, he had recently helped American farmers secure a major Supreme Court win in the case of Horne v. USDA, in which a raisin farmer Melvin Horne fought back against the federal government’s takings of a portion of his crops for the "National Raisin Reserve". This was a victory to all those cherish "the right of every American to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing." But the fight for our food freedoms is far from over, as Baylen documents in his new book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press). As it stands, agencies like the USDA and FDA often enact absurd rules that make our food supply no safer, while limiting options and contributing to mountains of food that Americans already waste each year. Case in point: rules constraining the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables in supermarkets. Furthermore, many regulations hinder small, sustainable farms, but are no hurdle for Big Agriculture, which swallows up billions in subsidies only to produce surpluses of crops that end up in landfills due to other bad policies. Baylen returns to the show to argue that while some rules are necessary and beneficial, we must be pickier when it comes to our food laws.