Living a Locally Supported Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘u.s.agriculture department’

Getting Good, Healthy, Local Food for All on the Obama’s Agenda

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Just last month, some of America’s most famous chefs’ and most persistent pioneers of the local food movement threw a massive fundraising dinner in the hopes that it would put their interests in the eyes of the Obamas.
Were they successful?
For starters, the new White House chef is a major proponent of eating well and we can take comfort in knowing that, slowly but surely, his thoughts on the “sorry state of the National School Lunch Program” will be taken into consideration.  Even better, the Agriculture Department has just recently planted its own garden and its fresh produce will be donated in large part to Washington, D.C.’s soup kitchens.  The best news of all: both Tom Vilsack and Michelle Obama were present for the garden’s ceremonial first planting.



2 Food Safety Agencies or 1, There’s Much to Be Done

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I wasn’t aware of how strange it is that our country has two separate agencies of food safety: the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – until I read that Tom Vilsack is a proponent of the idea that we have just one.  Upon doing more research, I learned that the U.S.D.A.’s Food Safety Inspection Service is in charge of overlooking only eggs, poultry, and meat while the F.D.A. handles all other foods.

Until these two entities are combined or another one is formed altogether, this interesting checklist (created by Ethicurean) for what the U.S.D.A. should accomplish in the next six months should be keeping everyone busy.

“Make the USDA once again the ‘people’s department’ with staff that answer to citizens before corporations.

Start supporting diversified, decentralized food systems right now, and stop risking American lives by encouraging all our eggs to be put in one basket (or hamburger in one plant, peanuts in one processor).

Stop using the nation’s kids as a garbage disposal.

Give us clear information about where our food comes from and how it was produced.

Start protecting us from food gone wrong, and GE crops gone wild.”