Sunday, December 7, 2008

UPDATE: Sec'y of Agriculture

Just sent in my comments to Obama's Web site. There's a long list of agenda items, but food is not included there; it's not even lumped in with "additional issues" that don't seem to merit listings of their own (at least, not as far as the transition team is concerned).

Please take a moment to contact Obama and let him know this issue is of vital importance to our national health, economy, energy policies, climate change, and, oh yeah, FOOD WE EAT. If you need more information, read Michael Pollan's open letter to the President-elect, published in the New York Times magazine in October.

Here's what I said to Obama. Feel free to copy it, or use it as a launching point for your own thoughts.

Food policy has to be at the forefront of any discussion about effecting positive change. In particular, I object strongly to the potential appointment of Rep. Collin Peterson as Secretary of Agriculture. He is on record as characterizing organic food production and those who support it as "dumb." He supports farm subsidies and a "business as usual" approach to food policy. Our current food policy is unsustainable and has a direct impact on energy consumption, our skyrocketing national rates of obesity and diabetes, and climate change. These are all areas that President-elect Obama has said he plans to prioritize in his administration. If President-elect Obama is sincere in his desire to address these issues, not to mention food policy itself, he needs to find a better choice for Secretary of Agriculture.

The fact that you don't even have a food policy listing under "agenda" on your web site
implies that this issue is not even on your radar, much less at the forefront of discussion about positive effective change. Here are some suggestions for better alternatives to Congressman Peterson.

Writer Michael Pollan's
open letter to the President, published in the New York Times Magazine in October, puts forth the most cogent and articulate discussion of the need for a radically new direction in our national food policy.

I hope you will make this issue more of a priority than you seem to be doing at present.


Elizabeth Schwartz

1 comment:

beth h said...

I did it I copied your letter, added my signature, and sent it in. I'd like to think it would help.