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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Tom Colicchio Says Health Issues Due to Poor Nutrition Will Affect Us More Than ISIS

The #TopChef head judge & chef explains why presidential hopefuls need to focus more on food policy.

By Laura Rosenfeld

As we hear the 2016 presidential hopefuls discuss their positions on health care, immigration, and terrorism this primary season, there's one important topic that Tom Colicchio definitely thinks needs more attention: food policy. "If you look at what’s driving this election, it’s immigration, it’s safety, it’s ISIS, it’s the big money going into campaigns," he said in an interview with The Huffington Post published Thursday. "That’s all well and good, but I would suggest our health care crisis because of the food we eat and how we’re marketing junk foods to kids will affect a lot more people in this country than ISIS will." 

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Watch Top Chef Season 21 Wednesdays at 9/8c on Bravo and next day on Peacock.

However, the Top Chef head judge said he believes candidates haven't been talking about the future of food because reporters aren't asking those questions. "I’ve heard almost nothing so far. But part of the problem is, I haven’t heard a journalist in a debate ask a question about food," Tom said. "I know that Bernie Sanders has come out in favor of [genetically modified organism] labeling. I’ve seen a few pictures of Hillary Clinton in farmers markets. That’s as close as we’re getting." 

Tom has been trying to change that with the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Food Policy Action, which he co-founded in 2012. Food Policy Action is one of three organizations behind the Plate of the Union campaign aiming to inspire citizens to encourage the next president to make food reform a priority.

Tom, along with Padma Lakshmi, Richard Blais, and dozens of other chefs from around the country, also visited the Capitol to advocate for food reform back last October. 

50 chefs from 40 states storm Capitol Hill to #saveschoollunch! #chefslead #votefood @tcolic #realschoolfood

A photo posted by Food Policy Action (@foodpolicyaction) on

As the 2016 presidential race continues to heat up, we expect Tom and Food Policy Action to keep on fighting.

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