That's the suggestion of NYT columnist Nicholas Kristoff in today's
paper: Replace the USDA with a Department of Food.

"A Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent
of Americans engaged in farming. But today, fewer than 2 percent are
farmers. In contrast, 100 percent of Americans eat."

He continues:

"The Agriculture Department ó and the agriculture committees in
Congress ó have traditionally been handed over to industrial farming
interests by Democrats and Republicans alike. The farm lobby uses that
perch to inflict unhealthy food on American children in school-lunch
programs, exacerbating our national crisis with diabetes and obesity."


"One measure of the absurdity of the system: Every year you, the
American taxpayer, send me a check for $588 in exchange for me not
growing crops on timberland I own in Oregon (I forward the money to a
charity). Thatís right. The Agriculture Department pays a New York
journalist not to grow crops in a forest in Oregon."

** Posted from **