Friday, January 23, 2009

A Willing Foot Soldier

Ever since I read The Omnivore's Dilemma last year, I have made it my mission to read every word written by Michael Pollan.  His knowledgeable but never preachy perspectives on the state of food culture and agriculture in the United States are as inspiring as they are informative, and I'm grateful every time I see one of his books on the front table at the big-name bookstores.  I take this to mean that his books are selling well, which in turn must mean his readership is growing, which, I hope, can only mean that many people are coming to the same realizations that I have come to in the past few years:  that moving toward sustainable food practices--including everything from how we raise livestock, to using real ingredients, to buying locally--is a necessity if we want to preserve our environment, our bodies, and the place that food has long held in our lives as social beings.

Thus, when I received an e-mail from Food Democracy Now urging me to "Join Michael Pollan's Army," I did not have to think twice.  I have already been pounding the pavement, urging friends and family to read his books, and regularly loaning out my copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma.  Food Democracy Now is aiming a little higher with their efforts, with the new Obama administration in their sights.  The goal:  let this administration know that, among the many options for changing up "business as usual," building a sustainable USDA is something that matters to the average citizen, and that it should matter to our government as well.  The petition that they've created to this effect also offers up some excellent sustainability-minded candidates for undersecretary positions at the USDA.  As of this writing, 81,467 people have signed on.  Will you be one more?  Visit to add your name to the list!

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