Marcus Samuelsson has recently penned an op-ed for The Huffington Post, in which he implores readers to think deeply about food policy during the upcoming elections.
He says that hot topics such as organic and non-GMO eats are great talking points, but that bigger problems should not get ignored.
While we as citizens can be tempted to debate specific issues like whether or not genetically modified foods should be outlawed or not, we can’t forget that a large portion of the country is addressing more pressing issues like hunger, food accessibility, and food safety. Other more nuanced matters like the pros and cons of GMOs or sustainable farming are far from their minds.
In his essay, Samuelsson also cautions against cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The author and Red Rooster chef wants to expand urban farming, but points out that affordability remains a big issue for the country’s poor.
The next step is finding ways — whether it’s increased government subsidies or community-supported programs — to make food from farmers markets more affordable to low income communities. Food stamps are redeemable at farmers markets, but the high cost of food means that food stamp recipients ironically get more bang for their buck shopping at supermarkets than at farmers markets.
Samuelsson is cautiously PC — he doesn’t publicly back any party or candidate in this particular article.
Still, he urges conscientious foodies to think hard at the ballot box, and pick pols whose food-policy track record makes them likely to enact pragmatic programs.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 22, 2011