Thursday, November 6, 2008

Organic Farming on White House Grounds?

"After this epic election, it’s hard to focus on anything else besides the new president-elect. So I will write about my hopes as a farmer and a food advocate for what this historic election might bring. I am a localist; therefore, I believe we must be cautious in putting too much hope in national politics. However, presidents set a tone for the nation, for the local places all around the country and even the world. And there are important policy questions that the next president will face that will have a great affect on the future of our food system, determining in many ways whether it will be a good one or a bad one.

As Michael Pollan wrote in an Open Letter to the next president, “You, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.” This is because, as Pollan writes, unless the next president addresses the food system, “[He] will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change.” Food and how we grow it is central to all of these questions because we have been running since the Nixon administration on a food system that depends on fossil fuels to produce low quality and high quantities of food. This system has produced a great deal of food, but it has also produced obesity, an increasing prevalence of type II diabetes, and an agricultural system that depends on a horribly polluting substance—oil."

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