If you're a celebrity chef like Tom Colicchio and you're trying to get presidential candidates—and voters—to care about food issues that have a life-or-death impact on Americans, what do you do? Launch a food truck. Distribute delicious food to voters and campaigners at the Republican and Democratic party conventions, and along the campaign trail. Make people hungry, then make them stop and listen.
That's one of the strategies that the Top Chef judge and his partners are planning to pursue with the launch this week of Plate of the Union, a campaign devoted to making food policy more responsive to the American public than to corporate interests. Plate of the Union brings together the efforts of Food Policy Action (an organization Colicchio co-founded), the Union of Concerned Scientists and the HEAL Food Alliance.
In an article Colicchio posted on Medium, he writes: "Instead of focusing on public health, food policy in Washington is dominated by money — prioritizing corporate interests at the expense of our health, the environment, and working families. The federal government provides subsidies that help keep junk food cheap and drive up rates of chronic health problems — like obesity, diabetes, and even cancer."
To reverse these trends—which are contributing to a life expectancy that's shorter for kids in this generation than for their parents—Colicchio is "calling on the next President to create a food system that rewards farmers and farming practices that protect our environment, that provides dignity and fair wages to workers, and ensures that all Americans have access to healthy food that they can afford." Plate of the Union plans to work with the President-elect to create policy proposals and put those ideas into action.
Learn more about Plate of the Union here, and keep an eye out for those food trucks.
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