Politico on Food

Yesterday came out with a whole series of articles on food policy.    

I was one of the "experts" interviewed for this piece on food policy.  I must admit to being in the minority opinion on several of the questions.  For example, one of the questions asked, "Are the presidential candidates doing a sufficient job in the campaign discussing the future of food policy?"  I was one of the 3% that said "yes" (I might have been the only one).  It is important to note that this is a survey of FOOD experts, and as such it's not at all surprising that they think their issue isn't getting enough attention.  But, with issues like ISIS, health care, immigration, etc., its no wonder food policy takes a backseat.  Total food and agricultural spending is a very small part of the federal budget.  In 2014, the whole of USDA was responsible for only about 4% of total federal spending (and the vast majority of that - around 80% - was for food assistance programs like SNAP). I suspect the candidates, on both the left and the right, have lots of smart, well-paid advisers, and the candidates are devoting an optimal amount of time to these issues given the likelihood they will actually sway votes.  Keep in mind Ted Cruz won the Iowa Republican caucus despite taking a stance against the ethanol mandate (a supposed sacred cow in corn-growing Iowa politics).  Anyway, you can read how the experts responded to the other questions at the link.

Another story on the complicated interrelationships between federal agencies in food safety regulation, applied particularly to chickens was interesting.  The story included the following fascinating graphic.