If the White House – and its Democratic counterparts in Congress – really want to support healthy eating, it can’t be through a speech to the National Restaurant Association. In fact, it’s going to take more than a televised trip to the D.C. farmers’ market or working in the White House organic garden.
If the first lady really wants to make a difference, she ought to speak out against our current agricultural policy – and the aggressive farm lobby – that encourages the production of a few staple crops at the expense of healthier fruits and vegetables. By manipulating the market, the federal government makes it desirable for more farmers to produce a few items like corn, wheat and soybeans. This leaves fewer farmers to produce everything else – driving the supply of fruits and vegetables down and the price up. It’s a policy that hurts the consumer, who has fewer healthy choices at the grocery store and the burden of higher prices.
Mrs. Obama could help end the decades-long push for healthier eating by encouraging the federal government to get out of the business of agribusiness.