Riddle Me This, President-Elect Obama

If you’ll forgive the unfortunate Batman reference in the title, I must say that I’m glad our worst fears haven’t yet come to pass.  We’re at a major fork in the road, and there’s still a chance that we’ll prove to be a reality-based nation after all.  For the last 60-plus years, and especially over the past 8…we haven’t so much been ‘told’, as we’ve had it jammed down our throats relentlessly that food is just another commodity best left to international commodity traders and chemical companies.  Unsurprisingly, globalization as defined by those types in this area has proven to be a massive failure, as has everything else based upon their theories.

The simple fact is that our food system is completely broken.  We’re drive-thruing ourselves to ruin while trying to drown out the sounds of our destruction with the popping of Pringles…

If we intend to remain a “first-world” nation, we need to ensure we have the bare basics to begin with.  Like food, which comes from our soil…the health of which directly impacts the nutrients contained in same.  

It’s time we had people in positions of power in Washington who understood that, people like Jim Riddle.

Crossposted as always from La Vida Locavore, jump below the fold…

Who Is Jim Riddle?

I was raised on a small dairy and produce farm near Colfax, Iowa. As

with many farm kids, I spent my summers baling hay, de-tasseling corn,

and walking beans, until I received a Maytag Foundation scholarship. I

graduated from Grinnell College, where I received degrees in Biology and

Political Science and an Iowa teaching certificate in 1978. I worked as

an Iowa State Senate aide, researching alternatives to Iowa’s property

tax system, and taught junior high school in Grinnell, before moving to

MN in 1980.

Since 1980, I have been an organic farmer, gardener, conservation

district supervisor, organic inspector, educator, policy advisor,

author, organizer, and avid organic eater. My wife, Joyce, and I have

lived off the grid since 1984, producing all of our power from the sun,

wind, and woods, living in our owner-built, energy-efficient

earth-sheltered home. We raise a big garden and put up much of our food.

For us, sustainability and green living are not just slogans – they are

a way of life.

There’s a Cabinet spot at Agriculture still open.  Wouldn’t it be great if we had somebody there who actually prioritized a sustainable society for all Americans, rather than yet another who’d be concerned above all else with the profits of ADM, Cargill or Monsanto?

If you feel the same way, Jim Riddle is our guy –

Given the challenges of climate change, ocean dead zones, groundwater

contamination, soil erosion, energy, obesity, diabetes, food safety,

farm subsidies, nutrition, and food security, the Obama Administration

has the opportunity to make a significant shift in US agriculture policy

by investing in cost-effective sustainable food and farming systems.

The USDA must lead the transition to a green economy by implementing

policies that support ecologically-sound food and fiber systems;

conservation and environmental stewardship; renewable and efficient

energy; and consumer-driven markets, providing stable and sustainable

incomes for family farmers and ranchers; supporting vibrant,

web-accessed rural communities; and encouraging a new generation of

farmers, ranchers, and gardeners. There is work to do!

Damned right there’s work to do!

Our food system isn’t working for people in Newark and Detroit, it isn’t working for our kids in public schools, it isn’t working for the millions of Americans currently suffering from diet-related diseases and it isn’t working for the countless Americans who will go hungry this Thanksgiving.  

We voted for real change, and quite a few of us out here aren’t going to forget that anytime soon.  

It’s time we begin to see results.

We’re not gonna win them all…but if there’s one thing I’ve learned as an ultimately unsuccessful amateur boxer and baseball player, it’s that heart counts for more than you’d ever think.  And fighting for what we believe in is never a waste of time…

Let’s keep the pressure on in every way we can, and hopefully we can put Riddle somewhere in Ag.  We weren’t just an ATM and a GOTV operation, were we?  That’s what the Netroots are all about after all, aren’t we?  Making the system finally work for us, The People.

If you care about your food, and where it comes from…if you’re sick of our 7-11 society…if various shades of colored high-fructose corn syrup isn’t your idea of a “balanced diet”…

Fight back, write to or call your legislator.  Your Governor, your US Rep, your Senator; your State Reps or your mayor or your City Councilperson…

Raise hell, and let’s let ’em know that we were serious about change.

Real change.

And we ain’t gonna forget now that this year’s horserace is over…


  1. Tips for Community Activists accepted here, and Happy Thanksgiving to you all…

  2. about our food has become widespread not just among organic health food types. The guy just came to put in our gas pipe a suburban (Beaverton) father really ‘normal’ went on a tirade about what they put in kids breakfast cereals. He read the label and what ever cereal he was feeding his kids contained TSP. He then launched into a rave about high fructose corn syrup. He said after years of shopping food whore houses, he was shopping New Seasons and that to his surprise it wasn’t costing him as much as the big box.

    I hope Obama who talks about preventative health care a lot is responsive to the growing numbers of people who are sick of poisonous food. The Clinton’s seemed to be in the pocket of Big Ag, Monsanto, Tyson etc. I really hope this administration starts to do something. We as consumers can also affect what happens. Buy local think global.      

Comments have been disabled.