Monday, November 17, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hey, Obama!

Michael Pollan's essay to the next President about the future of food, "Farmer in Chief", appeared in the New York Times Magazine (Oct. 9, 2008 issue). If you have time to read the whole article, you really should. Otherwise, here is a quote:

There are many moving parts to the new food agenda I’m urging you to adopt, but the core idea could not be simpler: 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. True, this is easier said than done — fossil fuel is deeply implicated in everything about the way we currently grow food and feed ourselves. To put the food system back on sunlight will require policies to change how things work at every link in the food chain: in the farm field, in the way food is processed and sold and even in the American kitchen and at the American dinner table. Yet the sun still shines down on our land every day, and photosynthesis can still work its wonders wherever it does. If any part of the modern economy can be freed from its dependence on oil and successfully resolarized, surely it is food.

This isn't pie-in-the-sky philosphizing (our farm's practice of diverse, sustainable agriculture is a good example of what Pollan is describing). Fossil fuel-based fertilizer and sprays have no place on the farm. Maybe Obama should consider Pollan for Secretary of Agriculture!