chapter  16
13 Pages

Food Policy

ByALISON HOPE ALKON

Michael Pollan likes to remind his readers that eating is a political act.1 By this statement, he means that the way we eat, and the kinds of foods we purchase, have consequences for the kinds of agriculture that can succeed. But the politics of food go well beyond our personal choices; food has been political in the traditional sense as well. Food production and distribution are regulated in a variety of ways, though efforts to regulate consumption have fared less well. Throughout the twentieth century, a variety of actors have attempted to influence food policy, though their specific issues have shifted over time. Moreover, their strategies match the political climates of their day.