Food focused author and journalist Michael Pollan is known for his simple approach to nutrition (“Eat Food. Mostly Plants. Not too Much.”) as demonstrated in his best-selling books including The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Food Rules and In Defense of Food, but his pared down approach doesn’t end there. In a new video released by the educational initiative campaign, Nourish, Pollan reflects on the value of voting with our dollars, and voting with votes, offering an appealing approach to making changes to America’s Farm Bill through the political process.
“We’re still at the very beginning of what may be a revolution in what we eat,” says Pollan, citing that “So much of our food system is the result of policy choices made in Washington.”
America’s Farm Bill passes every five years, but as Pollan states, “[I]t isn’t really a bill just for farmers; it really should be called the Food Bill because it is the rules for the food system we all eat by and those rules are really lousy now and they need to be changed.”
Proposed changes to the Farm Bill include dramatic cuts that would do little to support the small- to mid-size farmers and do more to support large-scale corporate agriculture. According to Pollan, “The reason we’re eating from these huge monocultures of corn and soybeans is that that’s the kind of farming the government is supporting in the form of subsidies in the form of agricultural research. All the work is going to produce those so-called commodity crops that are the building blocks of fast food.
“Why isn’t the research going into polyculture instead of monoculture? Why isn’t the research going into how to grow organically, how to grow without pesticides? So we need to shift the whole basis of the Department of Agriculture which really drives a lot of American farming to make that more sustainable and that will come by changes in the Farm Bill.”
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