Using his typical compelling and poignant prose, Pollan implores our future president-elect to direct his energies towards our nation’s rapidly deteriorating food system. If the man sworn in next January heeds Pollan’s advice, even the most pessimistic political and cultural cynics at the table will find hopeful promise in America’s new food system – one that is based on sunshine.
In case you haven’t got the time to read Pollan’s latest manifesto (though I really suggest you do), here are two significant changes which would make it easy to be Growing Up Gourmet with Michael Pollan as Secretary of Agriculture.
Lunch will become a mandatory part of the school curriculum, from planting a seed and watching it grow, to creating, following, and preparing a recipe, and to enjoying a meal shared with friends and teachers. Coupled with endless teachable moments, countless math, science, reading, and social lessons, and a healthy portion of Superfoods, lunch will become the “Super-Class”:
“On the premise that eating well is a critically important life skill, we need to teach all primary-school students the basics of growing and cooking food and then enjoying it at shared meals.”
Children will visit the White House not only for the chance to see the Oval Office, but the opportunity to till the Presidential soil. After devoting five acres of White House lawn to an organic fruit and vegetable garden, Pollan hopes to redefine the way Americans view farming, quite literally from top-down. With reminders of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden of 1943 that inspired 20 million home gardens and supplied 40% of the nation’s produce (!!!):
“The president should throw his support behind a new Victory Garden movement, this one seeking “victory” over three critical challenges we face today: high food prices, poor diets and a sedentary population… …Making this particular plot of American land productive, especially if the First Family gets out there and pulls weeds now and again, will provide an image even more stirring than that of a pretty lawn: the image of stewardship of the land, of self-reliance and of making the most of local sunlight to feed one’s family and community.”
As the most basic aspect of human existence, and historically one which has created cultures and defined nations, food and it’s supply is an issue every world leader must be discussing. Thank you, Mr. Pollan, for reminding us that our nation’s security, health care, economy, and future depend on it.