As part of a recent YouTube interview, President Obama responded to questions posed by individuals about a range of issues. Of more than 140,000 questions submitted, a simple one posed by Slow Food USA president Josh Viertel was selected. Josh had the opportunity to put it directly to the President: Why is it cheaper to feed children Froot Loops than it is to feed them fruit? The question and the President’s answer are captured in the following video:
In describing the President’s response, Josh noted:
President Obama didn’t use the opportunity to answer our concerns, nor did he speak to our hopes. He didn’t talk about how he was going to make it easier to access fruit than Froot Loops. He didn’t talk about how he was going to reduce federal support for the crops that are most damaging to our health and environment, and he didn’t talk about what he was going to do to increase support for a sustainable food system. The president didn’t talk about taking on the massive consolidation in agribusiness that makes it cheaper and easier to get unhealthy processed food than it is to buy whole ingredients. Though he touched on it, he didn’t talk about addressing food insecurity in any meaningful way and he didn’t talk about the power of citizens as shoppers … or as voters.
Instead, he talked about Walmart.
Josh’s thoughts on what this means for those of us interested in promoting a good, clean, and fair food system, and why the President’s response should motivate us to act, have been published on The Atlantic’s website.