What’s for Dinner, President Obama?

Those better be organic lunch meats, Mr. President

One of the best things about a good meal is that people of all kinds: ages, genders, races, and (yes) political philosophies can sit down and enjoy it together – savoring and appreciating it and, for a while, forgetting their differences. A meal is the ultimate kind of barrier-breaker, and especially when the food is delicious, it’s very hard not to feel a general sense of well-being and warmth, if not, perhaps, affection, for your fellow diners. And, so you might be forgiven for thinking that food is an a-political topic. Think again.

Far be it for us to begin espousing the virtues of organic farming, and/or slow, local foods, as that would be, at least in part, hypocritical, given that our diets have a significant globalized component to them. However, we are more than delighted at the Obama/Biden victory in the recent election and have high hopes for huge improvements across the board come January. Among these hopes are progressive initiatives on behalf of the new administration in renewable energy and sustainable food and agriculture, rather than the current status quo which has seen oil company lobbyists stonewall the former and the farm lobby block the latter. And it seems we’re not alone.

Check out this recent article from The Gristmill in which author Michael Pollan (The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense of Food) and other food advocates describe what they think the Obama administration should do to advance the cause of sustainable food and agriculture in this country. It’s quite thought-provoking.

And, of course, let us know what you would have Obama do for your dinner.

9 thoughts on “What’s for Dinner, President Obama?

  1. This is a tough one… I would like to see a program to help small farmers. Perhaps a revamping of the farm bill which currently supports big-Ag, but does nothing for the local, organic farmers trying to put honest, healthy foods on our tables. I would also like to see programs for farmers’ that them help maintain both agricultural and financial sustainability. Southern Maryland started with a program to help tobacco farmers transition to more “sustainable” crops, and has grown the program to promote farmers through agri-tourism and “buy local” campaigns. http://www.somarylandsogood.com/

  2. Without tipping my political hand, I will say that food is definitely a great way to help people find common ground. I always joke that the road to world peace is to lock the dignitaries of the world in a room filled with good food until they sort their differences out.

  3. i would love to see a control on how farmers treat, feed and inject animals and soil. Tax breaks for the organic farmers to off set the cost of better feed and pesticides. Fines for the people who inject the hormones, pollute the soil with harmful poison and have disgusting facilities.

    As said above, education about organic food in general and where to find it close to you.

  4. I think we are all getting focused towards natural, organic, local products and I think Mr. Obama will do a great job here. He tasted and liked Iberian Acorn Ham, so I trust his palate and feelings on produce and food ;D

  5. As long as he doesn’t stick his d*** in the mashed potatoes, I don’t care what he does to my dinner. (Sorry, that was really crass. He can totally stick his d*** in them if he wants to. )

    A break in how the FDA controls meat processing plants, so that small, artisinal farmers can process and sell their own meat in their own facilities would be a great place to start. Many of us who opt for sustainably raised, or “cleaner” meats are chagrined to realize the animals ends up in the same shit-smeared facilities to which conventionally raised animals go, and it would be fantastic to shift from that. A tightening of the definition of “free range” would be great, too.

  6. Michael Pollan and Barack in the same post has to be good! Food is certainly a political issue, but as much as I support sustainability I would like a higher priority for the president-elect to be a greater effort from Washington to ensure no American goes to bed hungry and no child goes to school hungry.

    Hunger, and all issues related to poverty and the working poor, seemed to vanish as an issue once John Edwards dropped out of the race. I know it’s a luxury to worry about what I will eat when millions are faced with whether they will eat.

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