The Great Food Blackout of 2016: How the Presidential Election Ignored the Most Vital Ingredient to Human Survival

The early results of the food movement’s campaign to make certain issues relating to a sustainable and resilient food and ag system are addressed this campaign season are not good.

Read author Christopher D. Cook’s (Diet for a Dead Planet) take on the current state of the food movement conversation – three months shy of election day – via the link below.

In an introduction to the piece, Cook writes,

In an often-riveting and raucous election season that saw Bernie Sanders push inequality and climate change to the front burner of the political hot stove, integrally related food and agriculture issues (including mass hunger, food insecurity, and the food industry’s huge role in climate change) were left neglected on the shelf.

Instead, throughout the primaries, this primary ingredient in human existence received sporadic moments of attention aimed at harvesting votes. We heard a bit about ethanol and biofuels in Iowa. In Pennsylvania, in one of the few high-profile electoral food fights, Hillary and Bernie clashed over a Philadelphia soda tax (Clinton supported, Sanders opposed). Here and there, a sprinkling of talk about child and family nutrition, farmworkers, and trade. No prominent debate (or even a debate question) about hunger, sustainable agriculture, soil and climate change, food and farmworker poverty, or GMOs.

Given food and agriculture’s electoral invisibility, one could easily think our food system is in fine shape, feeding everyone nutritiously, supporting small farmers, and combating rather than contributing to climate change.

How can this be? With individual and global life-and-death issues stemming from how we produce, distribute, and consume food, how can this vast, multi-dimensional terrain be marginalized and ignored by candidates and the media? What does this say about electoral politics and the power and voice of food movements?

The Great Food Blackout of 2016: How the Presidential Election Ignored the Most Vital Ingredient to Human Survival

 

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