Is a sustainable food strategy on Obama's menu?
December 30, 2008
By Derrick Z. Jackson
Boston Globe Editorial
A PRIUS in every garage and a farmers market in every neighborhood! This is our moment! This is our time for slow food! Or so, people hope from President-elect Obama.
Obama has raised hopes he will inspire Americans away from fool's gold-en arches and toward farmers markets and community supported agriculture (where people buy a share in a farm's annual harvest). Obama is the most healthy eater to enter the White House in a long time, unlike George H.W. Bush who castigated broccoli as he craved pork rinds, unlike ravenous Bill Clinton, who gained 30 pounds in his first presidential campaign, and unlike the junior George W. Bush, who, pun intended, butchered the meat of his message on food. He once said, "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."
The grass-roots cavalry as well as wealthy food gurus want to see Barack and Michelle Obama become American Gothic, even creating a symbolic White House farm. Michael Pollan, author of the best-selling "In Defense of Food," wrote an open letter to the next president in The New York Times magazine decrying fossil-fuel-sucking, disease-promoting agribusiness, and calling for more support of local foods and farming that relies more on the sun than "Sunoco."
Apparently, there is very little creativity in the world of journalism these days. Now we have another one that has come out to tell their readers that you should support your local farmers, but not the bigger operations farther down the road that are “clinging to their corn and combines”. Writing in the shadow of Kristof’s “Secy. Of Food” piece, he also goes on to repeat that America’s food producers are responsible for such things as obesity and diabetes. I would imagine that agriculture must be responsible for people getting older too. People like Pollan, Kristof and this author need to be honest with their readers and ask for what they really want, not a Secretary of Food but rather, the Food Police.