Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Food policy advocates invest hope in Obama

Packer Managing Editor Fred Wilkinson here.
Get a load of President-elect Broccoli Obama, or is it Barack Obroccoli?

An article in The New York Times looks at how various food policy reform advocates have high hopes the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama will implement changes in areas from school lunch nutrition standards to treatment of farm animals.

Like many Obama voters, according to the article, these food policy reform dreamers may have read more into the Obama campaign's "change" mantra than may actually be there:

"Although Mr. Obama has proposed changes in the nation’s farm and rural policies and emphasizes the connection between diet and health, there is nothing to indicate he has a special interest in a radical makeover of the way food is grown and sold."

But, the report continues, U.S. consumers' tastes and expectations regarding food and diet have changed, and the new president could signal a new direction:

"Still, the dream endures. To advocates who have watched scattered calls for changes in food policy gather political and popular momentum, Mr. Obama looks like their kind of president. Not only does he seem to possess a more-sophisticated palate than some of his recent predecessors, but he will also take office in an age when organic food is mainstream, cooking competitions are among the top-rated TV shows and books calling for an overhaul in the American food system are best sellers."

For a decidedly less journalistic take on what Obama's presidency may mean for food policy, check out this blog

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