Let's Chow Down on the Food System

Open letter to prez candidates calls for overhaul—now
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2008 5:05 PM CDT
To make local foods more acceptable and cheaper, Michael Pollan suggests the next president provide grants to towns and cities to build year-round indoor farmers' markets.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Americans touch it everyday and it’s a matter of national security, but John McCain and Barack Obama haven’t raised the issue while campaigning: America’s food system is in dire need of an overhaul, Michael Pollan writes in an open letter to the candidates in the New York Times. The system is critical to energy, health care, and environmental reform, he writes: “Food is about to demand your attention.”

But reform “may actually be possible for the first time in a generation,” declares Pollan, who advocates grants for farmers’ markets and migrating animals away from pollution-friendly feedlots. Reform won’t be easy, but “we need to wean the American food system off its heavy 20th-century diet of fossil fuel and put it back on a diet of contemporary sunshine."