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Omnivore - Do we need a cabinet-level secretary of food?

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof advocates for a secretary of food

New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof writes that President-Elect Barack Obama should consider appointing a "secretary of food" to replace the antiquated position of secretary of agriculture:

A Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of Americans engaged in farming. But today, fewer than 2 percent are farmers. In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat.

Renaming the department would signal that Mr. Obama seeks to move away from a bankrupt structure of factory farming that squanders energy, exacerbates climate change and makes Americans unhealthy — all while costing taxpayers billions of dollars.

“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,” notes Michael Pollan, author of such books as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food.”

Pollan, incidentally, will be the keynote speaker at the Georgia Organics 12th Annual Conference and Trade Show in March. Pollan is without doubt the nation's most influential writer about food, politics and culture. You can find details about his appearance on Georgia Organics' website.