Obama’s Food Policy Smells Good
In 1998 Glenn Roberts, a Charleston-based historic restoration consultant and thirty-year veteran of restaurant and hotel concept design, took his career in an entirely new direction. He founded a company, Anson Mills, to grow, harvest and mill near-extinct varieties of heirloom corn, rice, and wheat organically, and re-create ingredients that were in the Southern larder before the Civil War. Anson Mills now works with 30 organic growers in six states to grow a variety of native heirloom grains.
Glenn Roberts: One, it’s a fabulous idea to think that \r\nthe President, any President, would have time enough to stop and \r\nconsider sustainability beyond a talking point and beyond getting \r\nsomeone into the Cabinet that is driven in this direction. And frankly,\r\n the current administration seems to have done that on a fairly credible\r\n scale. They brought in some caring people on that level and I think \r\nthose people have a voice.
Certainly in the White House, \r\nthere’s a lot of sustainable agricultural advocates for what goes on \r\nwith state dinners now and things like that. They’re actually thinking \r\nthrough food systems when they bring them forward, they’re also thinking\r\n culturally. And I haven’t mentioned this, but if I had the ear of \r\nanyone in government, including the President or the Secretary of \r\nAgriculture, I would say that the culture of food is probably as, or \r\nmore important than the production of food. It’s something that we’ve \r\nignored in our country for a lot of reasons. We have a food science \r\nrevolution that runs parallel to the talking points that I am delivering\r\n right now. And that food science revolution is based on things that we\r\n could barely recognize as food 30 years ago. So, I think that we have \r\nto think about the culture of food; the fact that food actually is an \r\nimportant part of our culture and not just something that fuels the \r\nculture in one way, shape or form. Food as fuel is a dangerous concept.
Recorded on April 28, 2010
Interviewed by Priya George
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