Bittman Issues Call to Action on Healthful Food Policies
New York Times op-ed writer Mark Bittman has authored a commentary urging the federal government to adopt policies and incentives to benefit growers and consumers “with products that [are] less damaging to the environment and public health.” Focusing on three broad food categories—“industrially produced animal products,” “junk food” and “real food”—Bittman explains how certain policies can either promote their production and consumption or restrict their use, much as tobacco-control policies have changed over time and affected production, sale and use patterns. While acknowledging that such changes can be disruptive and that certain sectors can be harmed by new agricultural policy, Bittman claims that government action is more effective than efforts to change the industry and is desirable in the long run. “We can pressure corporations all we want, and what we’ll get, mostly, is healthier junk food. Really, though, as long as sugar is profitable and 100 percent unrestricted (and subsidized and protected!), marketers will try to get 2-year-olds hooked on soda and Gatorade,” he writes. See The New York Times, January 14, 2014.