So much for reform to American agriculture. And the decentralization of food systems. And stopping the utter boondoggle of corn ethanol. And the removal of HFCS from 99.9% of our commercial-crap foods. And any real support for traditional polyculture farmers. And putting a stop to the unholy power held and wielded by Monsanto, and ADM, and Cargill.
The Governor of Big Ag Central (that would be Iowa), Tom Vilsack, has been appointed Secretary of Agriculture.
What does this mean? Well, I'm pessimistic. Yeah, I know, I'm a pessimist. The ONLY good thing I can possibly come up with is, maybe, his ability to communicate with the Ag lobbyists- he already knows the players. But, more often than not, he dealt with them by kowtowing to them. With the two exceptions of 1) Des Moines, and 2) Seed Savers Exchange, which every American who eats food should join, the entirety of Iowa has been turned over to giant corporate monoculture farms. While it's true Vilsack didn't start the fire-- that would be Nixon's Agriculture Secretary, Mr. Get-Big-or-Get-Out Earl Butz-- he didn't exactly put it out, either.
And, no surprise here, Vilsack's a big proponent of corn ethanol. Ethanol from corn is so very wrong for so many reasons, among them: inefficiency, pollution, piss-poor energy input vs. energy output ratio, how it screws with global commodity prices. Many folks who pushed for corn ethanol just a year or two ago have backed off considerably now that the facts are far more clear. But not Tom. What's good for Iowa is good for America.
President Elect Obama, I'm really disappointed.
Wonder what our Food Reform Superheroes will have to say about this. Alice Waters, expect to see your Bat-Signal in the sky over Berkeley, and soon. But heads-up, it will be in the shape of an heirloom carrot.