In one of Mark Bittman’s first columns for the New York Time’s Opinionator Blog, he lays out a food manifesto for the future. There are a lot of ideas to chew on, many of them great, but these two hit home:
Encourage and subsidize home cooking. (Someday soon, I’ll write about my idea for a new Civilian Cooking Corps.) When people cook their own food, they make better choices. When families eat together, they’re more stable. We should provide food education for children (a new form of home ec, anyone?), cooking classes for anyone who wants them and even cooking assistance for those unable to cook for themselves.
Begin subsidies to those who produce and sell actual food for direct consumption. Small farmers and their employees need to make living wages. Markets — from super- to farmers’ — should be supported when they open in so-called food deserts and when they focus on real food rather than junk food. And, of course, we should immediately increase subsidies for school lunches so we can feed our youth more real food.
I would add to his list, being supporting urban farming initiatives. Every city in America should have giant urban farming, whether vertically or in unused space, where the produce is grown seasonally and doesn’t need to be shipped anywhere — thus cutting down on expenses for transportation, etc.