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Should Obama Make Dept. of Agriculture the Dept. of Food?

In this week's New York Times, columnist Nicholas D. Kristof argued that changing the Department of Agriculture to the Department of Food would be appropriate since only two percent of Americans farm, while all of them eat. But more importantly a name change would send a powerful message of reform.

Kristof quotes Michael Pollan, the author of the Omnivore's Dilemma, who says:

“We’re subsidizing the least healthy calories in the supermarket — high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soy oil, and we’re doing very little for farmers trying to grow real food.”

Kristof goes on to explain that Democrat and Republican presidents hand the department over to lobbyists for industrial farming. He calls on Barack Obama to end the trend and make the powerful agency about improving the standards of American food and spending taxpayer dollars more efficiently.

Would you like to see the Agriculture Department work on a healthy children’s school lunch program, promoting local food sources and sustainable organic farming, instead of subsidizing industrial farmers? Or do you think that will just make everything more expensive for the consumer?


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