Bill Moyers Interview with Michael Pollan on Food Policy

moyerspollanA couple weeks ago, Bill Moyers sat down for an interview with food policy journalist Michael Pollan, who is the author of books such as The Omnivore’s Dilemma (which I’m reading now) and In Defense of Food.

In the debate about who will be the next Secretary of Agriculture, some have advocated Pollan for the position. He has become outspoken about food issues and the need for a major transformation of America’s food system, and in October he published “Farmer in Chief,”  an open letter to the next president about food issues, in the New York Times.

In the interview, Pollan discusses the connection between industrial food production and the health crisis (rising rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc.), energy independence, global warming, and national security. His suggestions for how the Obama Administration should take action regarding food policy include:

  • Reducing and eliminating some food subsidies (especially for crops like corn and soy)
  • Transferring oversight of the School Lunch Program from the USDA to the Education or Health and Human Services Departments
  • Decentralizing our food supply
  • Encouraging locally grown food (he advocates a White House Chef and a Farmer who can provide locally-grown, organic food to the White House
  • Applying strategies such as farmers’ markets in urban areas
  • Building an alternative food economy.

Pollan also offers suggestions for actions citizens can take to make a positive difference in the food arena, including:

  • Thinking “of the dollars you spend on a food in a different way” – vote with your fork for food systems and strategies that are sustainable and restorative
  • Voting with your vote and voice for food systems and strategies that are restorative
  • Cooking from scratch more often
  • Starting your own garden

It’s an interesting interview. Be sure to check it out.