With President-Elect Barack Obama taking office in two months, changes to our country's economy, national security, and foreign policy are imminent. But will America's agricultural system change with Obama in the White House as well? In an interview last month with Time magazine's Joe Klein, Obama commented on a recent article in the New York Times written by Michael Pollan, the country's preeminent critic of modern factory agriculture, saying:
Our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the meantime, it’s creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they’re contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs.
With Obama in the process of selecting new members for his administration, activists have begun circulating a petition for the new president to appoint Michael Pollan as the country's new Secretary of Agriculture. Do you agree with Obama's remarks that the country's food system is in need of reform? Do you believe this is the beginning of a new agricultural era for the United States?