But there is no national food policy that says, for example, the United States will consume one billion pounds of almonds in the next year, so let’s grow 1.5 billion and there’s plenty for export. Let’s not plant 2.5 billion because that land could be used for tomatoes or something else. I mentioned it to my editor and we agreed that it sounds a bit Stalinist.
[Interviewer] Talk about politically toxic.
Right! But that aside, why would you not want to talk about what’s the best thing for the future of the United States? I would argue that the answer is not what amounts to an anarchic market of a million individuals deciding what they want to plant and then having this dogma that the market will decide. Growing a lot of almonds and exporting them to China is not the end of the world, but I do think that when you look at the Midwest, where the vast majority of land is used to raise corn or soybeans used for feeding industrially raised animals or producing corn syrup for junk food, really is. It is something that is not going to change until we say that land is too valuable to us to be used that way. We need more diverse and regional agriculture. What harm would there be in making a plan?
Mark Bittman has done some of the best writing about cooking which the human race has produced, ever, and he has done it repeatedly and on a large scale, toss in writing on food travel as well. This discussion is…less good than that.
The link is here, and I thank Daniel for the pointer.