Missing in so many monumental discussions is the health of the food supply. Not just in the United States, but other countries as well.

Food journalist Mark Bittman this year released his book Animal, Vegetable, Junk: A History of Food, from Sustainable to Suicidal. While I have not read it (yet), I listened to him talk about various components of the book in a podcast released by Aspen Ideas in November. The book is now on my “to read” list.

Bittman paints a clear picture of the importance of responsible agriculture, and how our federal government is failing to take this endeavor seriously. When food subsidies continue for big ag, clearly something is wrong.

The global pandemic proved how the supply chain is broken in so many regards. Farmers were plowing under perfectly good product because suddenly there was no way to get it to the people who needed and wanted it.

Bittman says 60% of the food available is junk—processed food. This includes grocery store shelves and in fast food restaurants.

While he praises those who support local/regional ag, farmers’ markets, and community supported agriculture, more needs to done on a larger level to have a significant impact.

The consequences of not changing our agricultural processes will continue to impact the land negatively, to make people ill, and to contribute to climate change.

While the information in the podcast is sobering, it is also hopeful in that change is possible. One of the things he would like any president to do is to forbid the use of antibiotics in animals unless for health reasons.

I can wait to read what else Bittman has to say.

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