THE BLOG
07/16/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hey Mr. President, Food Can Be Your Down Payment on Health Care Reform, Remember?

Back in October, Obama read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and he was feeling the Michael Pollan rapture. He even talked about it in an interview with Joe Klein, saying "our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the mean time, it's creating monocultures that ... are partly responsible for the explosion in our health care costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in health care costs."

So what gives? He's been all over the place this past week putting forth his health care plan and I haven't heard one word about food, and how preventative medicine--in the form of real food down the hatch--could save this country tons of money, while saving lives.

I recognize that, say, the Farm Bill is not what's under discussion right now and that there is an order of operations in Washington. The Child Nutrition Act, however, is making its way through Congress. Discussions around its reauthorization have revealed that Senator Harkin (D-Ia) understands the connections between what our kids eat and how their health fares; I know our First Lady also gets it. So why no mention from our POTUS in the health care talks?

Well, there's the whole tax on sugary soft drinks debate, but this misses the point. Please explain to me the logic of agricultural subsidies that make soda really cheap and then adding a tax on to said soda to make it expensive again (n.b. major oversimplification).

I was pretty excited when Obama read The Omnivore's Dilemma, and not just because it meant he was a potential President who would actually read. It's summer time now, a great time to read a book, or even head to the movies, say. Might I recommend he go for a refresher and see "Food, Inc.?" It hasn't opened in DC yet, but maybe on their next date night, he and Michelle could fly back to NYC and check it out.