Good Food with Evan Kleiman: Michael Pollan on Food Policy in 2009

Bringing Michael Pollan onto a show for people who already support good food can feel a bit like preaching to the choir! But what he says about food policy in the US and his hopes for President Obama's influence in this area helps put everything in context, even for foodies like us...

Pollan points out that three President Obama's top goals - oil independence, addressing climate change, and working on the public health care crisis - each have ties into our food system. Reforms within our food system are one way to begin making headway on all of these issues at once.

But as people dedicated to creating a better food system, Pollan cautions that we need to be careful of sitting back and assuming that the president will take care of everything. We need to continue speaking and acting in such a way that brings food issues to the forefront both locally and nationally.

A good barometer for the future of food policy will be what happens with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his goal to put nutrition at the forefront of the national school lunch program. If implemented, Vilsack's reformed program would not only help improve children's health, but it would also give schools easier access to local food sources.

Like Pollan, we're feeling cautiously optimistic about the direction we're headed. How are you feeling about the future of food policy in the United States?

• Listen to the full interview with Michael Pollan and the rest of this episode on the Good Food website.

Related: Nutrients and Food: Michael Pollan in the Times Magazine

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