Thursday, January 24, 2008

Jen has a (Voting) Eater’s Manifesto

There’s an interesting article on Michael Pollan over at the San Francisco Chronicle. Pollan has been an inspiration (and fantastic source of information and riveting reading) to those of us working on food and farm issues. I’m looking forward to reading his new book "In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto,” the follow up to Pollan’s best seller, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” which exposed the truth behind our food system. “In Defense of Food” is intended to help us decide what to eat in light of the facts of what the industrial food system is trying to sell us. In the Chronicle article, Pollan expresses reluctance to take on the role of leader of the food and farm movement:

"Emerging as a food movement leader "makes me uncomfortable. I'm a journalist," Pollan says. "But just because I'm a journalist I don't give up my rights as a citizen."

Becoming a leader makes him uncomfortable for other reasons too, he says. When people ask him what a new crop subsidy policy should be, he keeps having to say, "I don't know. I'm a journalist. I hope I can shine a light on it."

He goes on: Rachel Carson, whose book, "The Silent Spring," launched the modern environmental movement, "didn't write the Clean Air Act. She started a conversation and then politicians take over. And that's how it's supposed to work. The question here (on farm policy reform) is: Where are the politicians?"

Our politicians, of course, are either still wrestling with a Farm Bill that doesn’t do much to change our current system of agriculture (the one that favors corporations over family farmers), or campaigning, making promises to bring change. If you’re looking to choose the next president based, at least in part, on their stance on food and farm issues you’re going to have a tough time getting any information from their websites or campaign literature (trust me, I’ve looked!). If you’re still making your choice for our next President, call the candidates and ask them where they stand! Let’s make food and farming the issue that it should be. I, for one, would like to see the food and farms issue up there with discussions of social security and homeland security. Food security is just as important to our future.

2 comments:

  1. I agree, once a nation becomes food dependent on multinational corporations and/or becomes a net food importer, national security is sacrificed.

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  2. Hi Jen,

    Unfortunately most of our politicians, both from the left or the right are failing to discuss the true problems of the ordinary citizen and the average farmer. Instead they are obsessed with the big shop and corporate agriculture.

    I salute the endeavours of Farm Aid and if there is any way I can make a difference through my channels (I am the editor of a Distributist web archive), please let me know.

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