Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Food and food politics were the leading topic of the New York Times Magazine this week (Food Fights! 10.12.08). So many interesting and informative articles to peruse. Mark Bittman gives a personal, cook's perspective on how attention to food can improve your health and lifestyle. But food policy reaches beyond personal health and well-being; it is comingled with the economic health of the nation, energy dependency, and national trends in morality and morbidity. As usual, Michael Pollan gives us some shocking stats on the state of the (food) union. He also offers wise words and innovative solutions for how to rebuild and improve America's food system.
Pollan says that the next President will have to address the nation's food crisis. I'm not so sure. Health insurance has been a crisis in this country for over 30 years, yet it has only recently become a campaign issue with any life. (Bill Clinton was one of the first, believe it or not.) Even so, health insurance reform is a perennially "left behind" because strong lobbyists oppose meaningful change. I trust Obama, who at least has eaten arugula in his lifetime, to be ably equipped to deal with complex issues surrounding food. Yet, food policy is not easily wrenched from the hands of agribusiness and pork barrel subsidies, just as the health insurance companies and conservative lobbyists have ably undercut health insurance reform.
Still, good food, and all that represents, is worth fighting for. It's a fight you can take on personally, at home, with all the choices you make for you and your family around the dinner table.
Why Take Food Seriously? Because Your Life Depends on It. Mark Bittman, NYT 10.12.08
Farmer in Chief. Michael Pollan, NYT, 10.12.08
Attack of the Tomato Killers. Doug Fine. NYT, 10.12.08
A country so polarized that consuming arugula has become a political act. John Schwenkler. Plenty. 10.6.08