The politics of food, including cookies



Senator Barack Obama told Time Magazine's Joe Klein on October 23 that he had been reading Michael Pollan's acclaimed open letter to the next president. Obama said, "I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollan about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector. And in the meantime, it's creating monocultures that are vulnerable to national security threats, are now vulnerable to sky-high food prices or crashes in food prices, huge swings in commodity prices, and are partly responsible for the explosion in our healthcare costs because they're contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease, obesity, all the things that are driving our huge explosion in healthcare costs. That's just one sector of the economy. You think about the same thing is true on transportation. The same thing is true on how we construct our buildings. The same is true across the board.

For us to say we are just going to completely revamp how we use energy in a way that deals with climate change, deals with national security and drives our economy, that's going to be my number one priority when I get into office, assuming, obviously, that we have done enough to just stabilize the immediate economic situation. In conversations with folks like Warren Buffet, Larry Summers, and the other people that I've been spending time with on this, I described it as we've got a boat with a lot of leaks and we need to get it into port. That's what the financial rescue package is about. But once we get it into port, once the credit markets are functioning effectively, then it's time for us to go back to the fundamentals of this economy. Now, the one other point I want to make about this, though, we can't divorce the energy issue from what I believe has to be the dominant political theme underlying everything -- the economy, healthcare, you name it. And that is restoring a sense that we're growing the economy from the bottom up and not the top down."

I was unable to find any information online about any response Senator John McCain may have made to Michael Pollan's article. Grist magazine did a comparison of the likely food policies of the two candidates.

Less seriously (far far less):

Cindy McCain offers an Oatmeal Butterscotch cookie recipe to Parents magazine -- but it gets only three stars out of five from the 295 reviewers (at the time of this post) (and yes, some people questioned the originality of this recipe -- but who on earth has an original cookie recipe??? and furthermore, Michelle Obama's recipe for Shortbread Cookies (reposted in fares no better with 286 reviewers. I suspect politics influenced the votes - you think?)

Cincinnati's Busken Bakery has sold more Obama cookies than McCain cookies (these are cookie likenesses) - but what does it mean that people prefer munching on an Obama-like image to one of McCain?

Serious Eats offers a picture of McCain and Obama cookies on sale at Max and Benny's in Chicago

And to clear your palate, scroll on down to Why Do McCain's People Need to Hate on Arugula? Just be forewarned -- the word "aphrodisiac" appears in this story...

And here's a little lagniappe to take away with you: Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of those things that John McCain is older than.