This piece was first published as “Food Fight: Food Policy and the 2012 Election” on The Jew and the Carrot blog at the Forward.
With the next Presidential election a year away and the new Farm Bill scheduled to move through Congress in 2012, it is time to take stock of President Obama’s record on food policy, and to see what the Republican presidential candidates have said and done so far on the subject.
We are well passed those heady days for food progressives when Michael Pollan wrote an open letter to the “Farmer in Chief” (actually, the President Elect) about the interconnectedness of the environment, healthcare costs and the oil and food industries. It seems ages ago that Alice Waters put forth names of candidates for Secretary of Agriculture, and Ruth Reichel made suggestions for the White House chef. The excitement around Michelle Obama’s planting the White House’s organic vegetable garden with local school children is by now a long-forgotten memory. (Though she has a cookbook coming out soon.)
So how has the President lived up to expectations in the eyes of those who care about food policy, and what can we expect from the competition? Here’s what they have had to say about food so far.
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© 2011 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.
Tags: 2012 presidential candidates, Alice Waters, Barack Obama, farm bill, food policy, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michael Pollan, Michelle Bachmann, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Ruth Reichl