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Food reform, legislated

(article, Culinate staff)

In case you missed it, the Food Safety Modernization Act finally passed the Senate last week. Food-reform journalists Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan neatly summarized the bill just before November 30, when the bill passed with 73 yeas and 25 nays. 

The bill, however, still has to pass the House, and as food-safety activist Bill Marler pointed out earlier this week, the whole shebang might be held up permanently by a controversial amendment concerning fees.

On the plus side, the House passed a child-nutrition bill on December 2 that had already been approved by the Senate, making school-lunch reform the law of the land. Supported by Slow Food, via its Time for Lunch campaign to reform school lunch, and First Lady Michelle Obama, with her Let's Move! campaign to improve children's overall health, the new federal law should have wide-reaching effects on America's kids. 

(For a provocative call to arms about the law, check out Regina Weiss's Huffington Post column — drawing on Janet Poppendieck's recent book Free for All: Fixing School Food in America — asking whether school lunch shouldn't just be cheap but totally free.)

Next up? The 2011 Farm Bill, which will be significantly affected by November's electoral shift in Congress.