Secretary of Food?

There’s a growing call for Obama to appoint a Secretary of Food instead of a Secretary of Agriculture– and, most importantly, to make this someone who is not in the pocket of the Agriculture Industry. The thought is that we should instead have a genuine reformer who cares about sustainable farming, public health, pollution, animal welfare, and small farms. This strikes me as a great idea, and apparently the petition on the topic is quickly amassing enough signatures that Obama is taking it seriously. So go read more, and if you like go sign the petition! (Thanks lydia!)

5 thoughts on “Secretary of Food?

  1. Isn’t that what the Food and Drug Administration is supposed to do? I hope Obama takes a look at the FDA and considers making changes, one example being cases where there conflicts of interest with enployees of both the FDA and the pharmasuiticals. Honestly, I don’t know much about the “food” aspect of the FDA since everything I’ve read has been around the “drug” controvercies, but if it’s the same shady system I would hope there would be major reform. Do you know any books I could read about the F in the FDA?

  2. atalised, I believe the FDA only has the power to regulate the process of turning raw ingredients into food and the resulting products, not the process of producing those raw ingredients. So they’ll make sure that the high fructose corn syrup in your `juice’ isn’t toxic, but they can’t do anything about the Department of Agriculture policies that encourage growing corn (lots of calories, not so much nutrition) over growing, say, spinach and broccoli (much better nutritionally).

  3. thanks for posting this, jender! the way we produce food is, like your linked article implies, so intimately tied up with so many of the other issues we care about (environment, health, even justice, i think).

    peter singer’s _the ethics of what we eat_ is an excellent source for factual information about industrial farming in the US. (i think it’s actually not a good source for insight into ethical *arguments* surrounding these issues. so the title is a bit misleading.) i know, i know, peter singer. but he doesn’t even come out squarely in favor of vegetarianism in this book, if that gives you an idea of how careful he is to be balanced in his assessment. it’s well worth a read.

  4. Thanks so much. You probably would have included it if you knew, but do you have any book ideas or any places online i could go to learn about the ethics of food? I’ll order the peter singer book this weekend though…maybe there will be good refrences in there.

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