Ethicurean has an excellent checklist for evaluating the new USDA’s first six months:
1. Make the USDA once again the “people’s department” with staff that answer to citizens before corporations.
2. Start supporting diversified, decentralized food systems right now, and stop risking American lives by encouraging all our eggs to be put in one basket (or hamburger in one plant, peanuts in one processor…).
3. Stop using the nation’s kids as a garbage disposal.
4. Give us clear information about where our food comes from and how it was produced.
5. Start protecting us from food gone wrong, and GE crops gone wild.
The post goes in depth on each point and hits so many of the important food issues related to our food system and the USDA’s role. Part II will cover 6-10:
6. Usher in a new era of conservation.
7. Make a firm investment in non-biotech agricultural research – and make sure it stays in the public domain.
8. Help more people become farmers, and help the ones who’ve made that difficult choice succeed.
9. Level the pasture for small farmers and ranchers.
10. Realize where the market has failed and help us weather it.
What’s your checklist for what needs to change about our food system?