Michael Pollan (who I will have the opportunity to meet this week when he visits Bastyr University) wrote an article in the New York Times October 9th called Farmer in Chief. In the 9-page article he calls for the next president to examine the problems that face our nation from the food point of view. The case is strong that energy issues, oil consumption, health care costs and more are directly relatable to how we produce and consume food. Here’s a snippet of what Mr. Pollan proposes:
“The choice of White House chef is always closely watched, and you would be wise to appoint a figure who is identified with the food movement and committed to cooking simply from fresh local ingredients. Besides feeding you and your family exceptionally well, such a chef would demonstrate how it is possible even in Washington to eat locally for much of the year, and that good food needn’t be fussy or complicated but does depend on good farming. …And you should also let it be known that the White House observes one meatless day a week — a step that, if all Americans followed suit, would be the equivalent, in carbon saved, of taking 20 million midsize sedans off the road for a year. Let the White House chef post daily menus on the Web, listing the farmers who supplied the food, as well as recipes.
Since enhancing the prestige of farming as an occupation is critical to developing the sun-based regional agriculture we need, the White House should appoint, in addition to a White House chef, a White House farmer. This new post would be charged with implementing what could turn out to be your most symbolically resonant step in building a new American food culture. And that is this: tear out five prime south-facing acres of the White House lawn and plant in their place an organic fruit and vegetable garden.”
I love it. In your dreams, right? Well maybe not. There’s The Who Farm (aka The White House Organic Farm Project) which is a non-partisan, petition-based initiative to respectfully requesting that our 44th President oversee the planting of an organic farm on the grounds of The White House, our nation’s First Home, at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC. Want to sign their petition?
Is it possible? Does it matter to you?