About this item

America's broken food system has provoked an outcry from consumer advocates seeking to align food policies with public health objectives. This book examines both sides of the conflict for solutions.* Traces the development of a national food policy proposed by food movement leaders* Reveals the true cost of food and its toll on consumers and taxpayers* Discusses the opposition against a national food policy from the agricultural-industrial complex* Shows the effects of changing the current food system* Analyzes efforts to fix the food system and the efforts to oppose them* Introduces early food advocates who changed the food policy landscape

About the Author

Steve Clapp

A graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Journalism School, I found myself reporting food policy in Washington, D.C., for more than 40 years.
In 1971, Rodney Leonard, executive director of the Community Nutrition Institute, asked me to edit his weekly newsletter. I asked myself, "Do I really want to get stuck in a journalistic backwater like food? " How little I knew!
At dinner parties, I would remark that I covered the politics of food. "What's political about food? " I was asked. "Everything," I replied, and the other guests laughed.
I no longer have to explain in detail the politics of food, which covers everything from animal welfare to nutrition labels. We stopped taking food for granted or strictly blaming ourselves if we eat unhealthy diets. The food industry affects our lives from breakfast to dinner and beyond.
When I retired as senior editor of Food Chemical News, I had in mind a historical book about the consumer food advocates in the 1970s and '80s. An editor at Praeger liked my proposal and forwarded it to her editorial board. They liked it, too, but they asked me to update it.
Coincidentally, four food advocates met, in 2013, in the living room, in Berkeley, Calif., of Michael Pollan to discuss how to reform the broken food system in the United States. One year later they published a manifesto in the Washington Post advocating a national food policy that could save millions of lives.
The national food policy proposal gave me the issues I needed for an outline for my book, "Fixing the Food System: Changing How We Produce and Consume Food." The chapters cover the real cost of food, dietary guidelines, marketing to children, hunger in the wealthy society, sustainable agriculture, handling of food workers and treatment of food animals.
I'm proud to be one of the many returned Peace Corps volunteers who have found our way to Washington. My two years teaching and traveling in northern Nigeria expanded my horizons and gave me a fresh perspective on my own country when I returned. My Peace Corps memoir, "Africa Remembered: Adventures in Post-Colonial Nigeria and Beyond," can be found on my website.
My first job in Washington was serving as a field program evaluator for the Office of Inspection in the ill-fated U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) . My colleagues and I investigated and evaluated antipoverty programs in the Midwest and South. It was my fate to move professionally from poverty to hunger and malnutrition; the common theme has been food.

Read Next Recommendation

Discuss with your friends

Report incorrect product information.