In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, the author, chef and Berkeley Food Institute distinguished fellow weighs in on a variety of food issues. Some takeaways? It’s not necessarily a movement…yet. And we need to insist that political candidates give us their thoughts on food policy. And those who care about reform and transformation within the food system must prioritize…and organize.

Bittman writes:

That’s what the rest of us need to learn: How to use basic organizing skills and how to fight. We need to prioritize one or more issues, we need to unite on those issues, and we need to gather others to apply pressure on politicians at every level and directly on corporations when possible.

And this:

I’ll believe there’s a food movement when Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush are forced to talk directly about food issues. I’ll believe we’re effective when I see the routine use of antibiotics outlawed and when that first CAFO closes. I’ll know we’ve started to win when anyone who wants to farm real food has land on which to do it, when there are high-quality school lunches that are free for all, when we’ve started talking about providing that same quality dinner to anyone who needs it. Until then, we have a lot of work to do.


A note:

We’re delighted that Mark is teaming with the University of California and UC’s Berkeley Food Institute to launch a video series focused on food-related research. It starts May 11.

The 10-part series, Mark Bittman: California Matters, takes Mark across the state to explore leading-edge UC research in food, sustainable agriculture, policy and health.

The first episode will explore urban foraging with UC Berkeley’s Tom Carlson and Philip Stark, who are studying the prevalence, nutritional value and possible toxicity of wild edibles in urban food deserts as well as barriers to widespread use of these foods. UC Food Observer will be featuring a Q&A with Stark the week of May 11th. New stories will run online every two weeks with bonus footage in between.

California Matters is being produced as part of UC’s Global Food Initiative, which seeks to harness the university’s resources to address one of the most compelling issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a growing world population. Learn more here.