Focus on Food This Election Year

Getting food issues off the back burner.

plateoftheunion-logo-jpgEven though First Lady Michelle Obama has made valiant efforts to bring to public and media attention on fresh and healthy food, such issues as food deserts, wide-spread hunger, food waste and the awful power of the agri-chemical industry still plague the country. The next administration is unlikely to build on the Mrs. Obama’s legacy. The White House organic garden might even be plowed under.

One effort to bring food issues to public and political attention is the Plate of the Union Food Truck Tour, which started over this past summer to calli for action on food and farms. In Cleveland for the Republican National Convention and Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, organizers of the Plate of the Union say the food truck drew  crowds, underscoring that legions of  Americans care about healthy, fair, sustainable and affordable food. At each convention, organizers say that they were “joined by delegates, members of Congress, media and everyday people who agree: we need presidential leadership to fix our food system.”

The post-convention road trip included stops in Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and North Carolina. This ambitious road trip did not appear to include Colorado. The truck staff gathered petition signatures and say that they heard from concerned farmers, food business owners, teachers, parents, workers and more. Aa New York Times article, “When Will Food Issues Be on Politicians’ Plates?”, featured the Plate of the Union. It reminded readers that food is not a red or blue issue, and it raises how food intersects with so many critical national issues this election season: immigration, labor, health, trade and more.

I doubt that upcoming debates will spend much, if any time, on food issues, but it won’t be for the of the Plate of the Union’s efforts.