Heard about the Farmer going to Washington? Me neither. Not yet anyway.

January 2, 2009
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President-elect Obama has nominated people for just about every position in his incoming administration – except a Farmer-In-Chief. If he really wants to make a change for the better, a really good place is to start with the most fundamental aspects of life: what’s considered “food”.

Food stamps can be used to purchase soda but not alcoholic beverages – even though red wine (and even beer) has far more nutritional value. We need to stop subsidizing “junk food” (like candy and soda) and “non-food” (like high fructose corn syrup) and instead create policies and practices that make finding, buying and eating fresh healthy food easier and more affordable.

The U.S. has an Agriculture Department and a Food and Drug Administration, but what we really need is a Farmer-In-Chief (at the White House) to set the example of responsible sustainable local (organic) food production.

Instead shipping food from one side of the country to the other, a better policy and practice would to encourage and promote purchasing produce grown locally, and shifting from antibiotic and growth hormone dependent animal factories to smaller, more humane methods of choosing and raising animals that we eat.

Using some of the land around the White House to grow the majority of food that is consumed by our elected leaders, official visitors, and nearby food banks would be a welcome change I’d love to see the next President introduce to America. It would also be a welcome change to actually have someone who knows about where food comes from be in charge of policies that affect what’s available for the rest of us.

What do you think?

© 2009 – 2015, Oren Pardes. All rights reserved.

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