Farmer in Chief

For an issue so inexorably linked to several major campaign touchstones--the crippled economy, energy independence, global warming, the health care crisis, even terrorism--I was disappointed to see so little discussion of the candidates' proposed food and agricultural policies.

Thankfully, food guru Michael Pollan penned an excellent piece in the October 9 New York Times magazine, essentially an open letter to the next "Farmer in Chief."

Pollan gives a little history on the factors that drove us to create today's industrial monoculture and how heavily it depends on cheap oil--after personal cars, the food system is the second-largest user of fossil fuels--which is a luxury we can't plan on having in the future. It's a lengthy, but important read as it outlines the steps the country needs to take to create a sustainable food system.

In any case, it's something to keep in mind as you exercise your right to vote tomorrow. For more information, the state department's website outlines the candidate's views on agriculture and links to the policy section of their campaign websites.

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