Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh Noez! Vilsack to be Secretary of Agriculture!

(Mister Secretary)
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.


Rabbits' Guy said...

Now calm down. You KNOW that Agriculture he is secretary of is not what you want agriculture to be. It will take quite a groundswell and bit of activism to change that ... but the awareness is there and growing and maybe things will keep a'changin'. Got to have a good story though ... like .. who SHOULD be Sec. of Ag.?

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Hear hear Ilex! I was really disappointed when I found out who was picked as well. At the same time though, I am not surprised. While Obama is definitely different (in the "breath of fresh air" sort of way not the "run and hide in terror" sort of way), he is still a politician and for some reason, many just don't get creative when picking people for these positions. They choose from the already available pool of "choices" and rarely look outside that circle.

I agree, at least in theory, with the commenter above - that if we keep on harping about things, perhaps we can get positive change. At the same time too though, I am jaded and think it will probably be more of the "same 'ol same 'ol", but that doesn't mean I won't write letters, complain, and try to change things. I mean, eventually, something DOES have to change, right?

ilex said...

If we don't change it, you can bet that Nature will create change. And she won't hesitate to take us down with it.

PJ said...

I don't know anything about this guy, but it does sound disappointing. I wonder what Obama's ctiteria was??????

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Yeah, disappointed, remember in "A Fish Called Wanda" when the guy opens the safe and there's nothing in it and he says "DISAPPOINTED"??? Great emphasis.

Amanda Moran said...

Ack. I didn't hear about this today.

Hey, I wanted to ask you, you mentioned something about some co-ops or grocers in your area with unusual business models, can you email me with some names? I really want to do some research.

Send me the info to aamoran(at)sbcglobal(dot)net