State of the Union’s Food

January 20, 2015 at 4:30 pm Leave a comment

You may also enjoy this classic guide to conscious eating through simple, conscious cooking ala Bittman

The state of the union food-wise is not good, says our favorite New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman. No kidding. That’s why it’s long past time for a National Food Policy.

After all,  15% of Americans (that’s 46.5 million people) are subsisting on SNAP benefits (food stamps). And you can bet that most of them are not getting enough fresh, healthy food with their food stamps, and that many suffer from, or are at fisk of, costly diseases that can be caused by poor nutrition: obesity, Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Come to think of it, Bittman says, many of our domestic challenges are connected one way or the other with food.

“You can’t address climate change without fixing agriculture,” he says. “You can’t fix health without improving diet, you can’t improve diet without addressing income, and so on. The production, marketing and consumption of food is key to nearly everything. (It’s one of the keys to war, too, because large-scale agriculture is dependent on control of global land, oil, minerals and water.)”

Here are Bittman’s top policy recommendations:

  • Get antibiotics out of our food supply.
  • Tie reducing greenhouse gas emissions to reining in the industrial production of animals for meat.
  • Support strong front-of-package food labeling.
  • Defend the menu labeling mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

We like his list and have a few more suggestions:

  • Increase financial support for farmers, businesses and organizations that produce and distribute fresh, healthy, local food.
  • Decrease subsidies and incentives to farmers, businesses and organizations that produce, advertise, and distribute unhealthy food, especially to children.
  • Increase the minimum wage of food workers for farms, food processing plants, restaurants, grocery stores, etc.

It’s a start. To read the rest of Bittman’s thoughtful comments on national food policy, click here. Feel free to share your recommendations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/opinion/lets-address-the-state-of-food.html?_r=2

 

 

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Entry filed under: Commentary, food access, Politics/ Policy. Tags: , , , , , .

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