Washington--On Wednesday, National Journal held a summit in Washington, D.C., called “Healthy Food, Healthy Planet,” which looked at emerging food policy topics. A spokesperson from the Barilla Center for Food Nutrition, which sponsored the event, opened the summit with issues the center has determined to be significant.
According to Barilla, modern agriculture production and farm policy can be directly linked with the following: global malnourishment, domestic obesity, limited water resources because of livestock, climate change and limited food supplies because of biofuels.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was the keynote speaker, dropped his prepared speech and instead answered the paradoxes that were presented by Barilla. He said that USDA has made malnourishment a high priority, working on such initiatives as the Feed the Future program, which focuses on post-harvest losses in undernourished countries. As far as domestic obesity, USDA has made the issue a priority by revamping dietary guidelines and reforming the school lunch program, according to Vilsack.
Vilsack went further to say that there’s an untold story in U.S. farmers’ efforts to feed the population and produce new technologies. He said that farmers don’t get the credit or respect they deserve with what they’ve done to expand food production. “Biofuels is an opportunity to redefine our entire economy,” said Vilsack. “It’s not a competition with food, but complements food production.”