Monday, January 19, 2009

Sustainable Agriculture in an Obama Administration

With the selection of Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, I expect Monsanto to be well represented in the highest echelons of Obama's administration. But there are a lot of positions left to fill at the USDA, and we can help make sure that at least a few of them are filled by champions of the sustainable food movement.

At Food Democracy Now, you can make a stink by signing their petition to:

...get serious about sustainable change at the USDA. As a result, here at Food Democracy Now! we’ve come up with a list of twelve candidates for Under Secretary positions at the USDA. And we’re calling them the Sustainable Dozen.

Then you can tell your friends through an easy interface with chat, blogs, email, social networking, and bookmarking sites.

As someone who now has been eating from a zone 5 victory garden since August (now cold framed and more of a life support system for suspended animation), my dedication to sustainable food is a matter of record. I've had an organic gardening site at since 1996. Many of my clients have been, or are, into sustainable agriculture, including a sustainable organic Kona coffee farm on the big island of Hawaii. I've spent my life studying how important this topic is.

If we don't start making our food more sustainable, we will pay a huge price. From crop failures due to monoculture to seed diversity to erosion, pollution, loss of soil tilth, and greenhouse gases due to lack of composting and dependence on fossil fuels, sustainable food is a serious topic that is often denied or short-changed in a very bi-partisan fashion in this country. Industrial agriculture interests are well represented by high paid lobbyists to both political parties, and only a movement like the one that swept Obama into power will make them pay attention to the seriousness of this subject at this time.

So, please, sign the petition, and then tell your friends and readers. If you love to eat as much as I do, you'll do it now!