Once upon a time, more than one-third of Americans worked on farms, and a Department of Agriculture seemed logical. These days just 2% of Americans work the land, and the factory-farm lobby dictates agriculture policy, writes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. To help remedy the situation, Kristof contends, Barack Obama should appoint a reformer to a renamed post: “secretary of food."
"The need for change is increasingly obvious, for health, climate, and even humanitarian reasons," Kristof writes. A Department of Food "would signal that Mr. Obama seeks to move away from a bankrupt structure of factory farming that squanders energy, exacerbates climate change, and makes Americans unhealthy—all while costing taxpayers billions of dollars."