Once again Michael Pollan has succinctly hit the nail on the head regarding America’s food policy, linking the health care debate and agribusiness in his September 9, 2009 Op-Ed piece in the NYT, “Big Food v. Big Insurance”. He makes the point that in order to control health care costs, we must improve health, reducing the growing rates of preventable chronic dieseases, many of which are linked to diet. Changing what America eats means changing the way we allocate resources – including land – for growing food.
Pollan references the findings of a team of designers from M.I.T. and Columbia who were asked by UnitedHealthcare’s foundation to come up with the best way to tackle childhood obesity in America. “Their conclusion surprised the designers as much as their sponsor: they determined that promoting the concept of a ‘foodshed’ — a diversified, regional food economy — could be the key to improving the American diet.”