Top | Sift

Food on campaign

(article, Caroline Cummins)

It's tough to be a presidential candidate. Not only is your every move scrutinized and analyzed, but trying to do the right thing, foodwise, ain't easy. 

First came the New York Times, late last fall, pointing out the difficulties of eating well while campaigning incessantly — ice cream, corn dogs, and pizza slung in the faces of candidates who are supposed to somehow stay trim and fit while scarfing plenty of junk food. 

Then came the comparisons between not just what the candidates eat, but which food industries they tacitly endorse. The Ethicurean took Hillary Clinton to task for her choice of Joy Philippi, a former president of the National Pork Producers Council, as the leader of Clinton's rural campaign; this was a disappointment to anyone unhappy about this apparent endorsement of CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations, or factory farms). 

Meanwhile, the blog Local Forage dissed Clinton for her connections to GMO food. The blog Food Democracy gave erstwhile candidate John Edwards a gold star for being the most aware among the candidates of food and food-safety issues, and concurred with Local Forage that Clinton's food politics were questionable.

And Grist followed the food money involved in both Clinton and Barack Obama's campaigns, looking at "campaign contributions, ties to agribusiness, and \[the candidates'\] own campaign material." The summary? Clinton wins — big — on raking in cash from agribusinesses. 

For the big eco-picture, check out Grist's online spreadsheet comparing the candidates' stances on the environment.