Sunday, March 22, 2009

New York Times Article on Sustainable Ag and Local Food

A great article out in today's edition of the NYT asks, "Is a Food Revolution Now in Season?"

In mid-February, Tom Vilsack, the new secretary of agriculture, took a jackhammer to a patch of pavement outside his headquarters to create his own organic “people’s garden.” Two weeks later, the Obama administration named Kathleen Merrigan, an assistant professor at Tufts University and a longtime champion of sustainable agriculture and healthy food, as Mr. Vilsack’s top deputy.

Mr. Hirshberg and other sustainable-food activists are hoping that such actions are precursors to major changes in the way the federal government oversees the nation’s food supply and farms, changes that could significantly bolster demand for fresh, local and organic products. Already, they have offered plenty of ambitious ideas.

For instance, the celebrity chef Alice Waters recommends that the federal government triple its budget for school lunches to provide youngsters with healthier food. And the author Michael Pollan has called on President Obama to pursue a “reform of the entire food system” by focusing on a Pollan priority: diversified, regional food networks.

Check out the entire article here. It's good to see that the big names are still out there, agitating for change! I didn't know Vilsack had jackhammered up the pavement to plant a garden until reading this -- great gesture, I must say. Let's see how things go, though. The reality of implementing regional food distribution systems, etc. will take a lot of hard work from grassroots people like us...we've still got plenty to do, even as the government slowly catches on to these ideas!

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