Food Politics in the Trump Administration 

I love podcasts. Evan Kleiman’s Good Food (KCRW) is one of my favorites. In this episode, Kleiman interviews Politico Pro’s senior food and ag reporter, Helena Bottemiller Evich. They discuss what food policy under a Trump administration might look like.

Whitney Pipkin considers the politics of food in this piece, appearing in Civil Eats. Weighing in? Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Ferd Hoefner of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman.

Editor’s Note: Read the UC Food Observer interview with Ferd Hoefner here.

Scientists Speak Out About Censorship and Data

I believe in citizen science and publicly-funded scientific research. I grow concerned when science is censored and when access to public information is limited. Millions of others share my concerns.

One of my favorite “citizen scientists” is Jon Foley, a “global environmental scientist” who serves as executive director of the California Academy of Sciences. He recently published a thought-provoking piece – The War on Facts is a War on Democracy – which I think is a #mustread. Foley writes:

“But it’s not just absence of facts that’s troubling, it is the apparent effort to derail science and the pursuit of facts themselves.”

The piece appeared as a guest post on the Scientific American blog and is now posted on Foley’s Macroscope blog, which is always a lovely and thoughtful read. The Cal Academy of Sciences has an ever-growing Twitter list of scientists and researchers who are active on Twitter and social media. Be sure to check it out.

What Can Local Food Do?

Dr. David Cleveland writes an important piece for the Union of Concerned Scientists blog. In it, he challenges us to examine our assumptions about agriculture and local foods. He writes:

“So, we need to keep asking questions: What are our specific goals for a more sustainable alternative to the global industrial food system? Is promoting local food helping us to make progress toward those goals? Is ‘local’ a good indicator of progress toward those goals? How can we adjust our actions and policies, and the indicators we use to measure them, to make more progress?”

Cleveland provides case studies from Santa Barbara county (California), where he has conducted extensive research as a faculty member in Environmental Studies and Geography at UC Santa Barbara. Cleveland’s also written an excellent book – Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture – that serves as an interdisciplinary “primer on critical thinking and effective action” to tackle food issues around the globe. #gauchos #ucsb

Have a great week!

Suggested Reading:

UCSB’s Soup Guys

UC Merced researcher Elliott Campbell on the potential of local food

Guest Blog: Ann Thrupp, UC Berkeley on the rise of food education and activism