Thursday, November 11, 2010

Changing the Food System

I thought (my hero) Ruth Reichl's recent blog post on Changing the Food System offered fascinating and new (to me, anyway) perspectives and ideas on how to really enact this change that needs to happen.


And it was a beautiful hall, all carved antique wood, where Marion Nestle, David Kessler and I sat down to discuss the politics of food and health care....

We are all agreed on these basic facts. The question is, what do we do about it? And that’s where the most depressing part comes in. Because these politically connected people (David, after all, was the FDA commissioner who took on cigarettes), both believe that there are only two paths to political change. Campaign laws must be rewritten to prevent large corporate contributions. And the first amendment must no longer be interpreted as protecting advertising as free speech. Until that happens, political change is not possible.

I'd never thought of these before. But when I really think about it, it does make sense. It also kind of blows my mind...things I once thought of as totally un-related (obesity, factory farms, broken food system and large corporate contributions and advertising protected as free speech) are, clearly, very much related.

And so it goes.

Change might be longer in coming than we thought. But I still believe it will happen. Because it must.



P.S. If you are in need of something great to read over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, may I recommend the extraordinary Ms. Reichl's books? They are captivating, wonderfully written, all about food, and are auto-biographical. They are so good. I wish I hadn't read them so I could read them all over again. I suggest starting at the beginning and working your way to the present, though you could always do it backwards, as hubby did -- though not on purpose. Just worked out that way. And he did not enjoy them any less because of it. So really, just read them, no matter the order!

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