There is so much to do in the Department of Agriculture. President Obama needs the correct information about food as well as energy, economics and climate change. His currect choice for Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, cannot give him the correct information. Please go to Organic Consumers Association website to Oppose Tom Vilsack's Confirmation as Secretary of Agriculture. There you can read why:
While Vilsack has promoted respectable policies with respect to restraining livestock monopolies, his overall record is one of aiding and abetting Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) or factory farms and promoting genetically engineered crops and animal cloning. Equally troubling is Vilsack's support for unsustainable industrial ethanol production, which has already caused global corn and grain prices to skyrocket, literally taking food off the table for a billion people in the developing world.And then you can go here to hear about the real Food Industry Challenges That Obama Needs to Address in this Bill Moyers interview of Michael Pollan, author of several books about the food industry, including The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto.
Do we all have become vegans?
Following a link in my blog entry about Natural Flavorings a couple of days ago, I came across the site Mercy for Animals, which offered to send me a Vegetarian (actually, vegan!) Starter Kit booklet, which came yesterday. It starts out graphically showing how poorly animals are treated on factory farms, using that as the reason for becoming vegan. The brochure offers some recipes to help you get started at being a vegan. After you've read my bit about Natural Flavorings, how do you fancy "Sweet and sour meatballs" made with "ground beef substitute (try Lightlife Gimme Lean)," or maybe Fried "chicken" using "mock chicken (try Worthington Foods Chic-Ketts or White Wave wheat meat)" - or the holiday favorite Tofurkey? (tofurky roast ingredients) I prefer eating a much unprocessed organically grown food as possible, including butter instead of margarine! (Looking for a link about margarine was interesting. Note the comments about the Wikipedia article or check out margarine.org.)
However, I think humans were created omnivores, just like Michael Pollan, and the correct solution would be a complete make-over of the way animals are raised and slaughtered, as well as prepared for sale. In other words, the Department of Agriculture has a lot to do, not just figuring out how to use farmland to provide alternative energy, which I think is Mr. Vilsack's biggest agricultural interest.
Please, President Elect Obama, select a Secretary of Agriculture who is eager and knowledgeable to change agriculture, so I don't have to run all over the place to find acceptable food products, or feel guilty that the animal products I am eating come from animals whose short life was miserable!