Michael Pollan Shares His Perspective on NPR
Published: December 18, 2009. There was an old commercial on television once (does anyone remember it?), “when E.F. Hutton talks, people listen” and a noisy room would instantly go quiet as the wise investment advisor spoke. Boy, has that pendulum shifted!
Today, when Michael Pollan talks about food, people listen. Or, let’s hope they do!. On NPR this morning, Pollan put into very simple terms what is at stake in reforming our food system. He also shares his concerns for Obama’s choice to head the department of Agriculture, the former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack.
Pollan asserts that reform of the food system is essential if we are to meaningfully address the problems of climate change, public health, healthcare reform, and energy independence. Vilsack has close ties to agribusiness, and his embrace of corn-based ethanol, pits him against the direction of change toward a sustainable food economy.
While Pollan is “cautiously optimistic” that Vilsack will take a broader view in his responsibilities as Secretary of Agriculture, I guess I remain hopeful that the new Obama administration will recognize and avoid policies that obviously conflict with the public interest. In the case of food, corn-based ethanol production is a bad idea because it drives up the cost of food, and on balance does little toward addressing climate change, or energy independence.
Listen to the Pollan interview on NPR Radio, and tell us what you think.