The Politics of Food by Hannah Wallace ’95

Hannah Wallace is a Portland-based journalist who writes about food politics, integrative medicine, and travel. She writes for the New York Times, Portland Monthly, and (until very recently) Whole Living and her articles and book reviews have appeared in Salon, Vogue, O, T:Style, Mother Jones, Travel + Leisure, Monocle, and the Los Angeles Times. She is a contributing writer at

Joe Cimperman, a Leader of Cleveland’s Good Food Revolution

You hear a lot of talk in the sustainable food movement these days about how each of us needs to “vote with our fork.” The notion is that political change is hard to come by—and while we are waiting and waiting for our elected politicians to curtail insane subsidies to commodity crops like corn and soy and pass common-sense measures like a soda tax—we might as well choose foods that are good for us, the planet, and the people who harvest and cook them. Judging by the recent explosion of farmers’ markets in the U.S., this maxim is—at least in part—working.

But voting with your fork isn’t enough. We also need to campaign for and elect politicians who will fight for our values—who will fight against charges of “nanny statism” and big corporate interests (hello, Coke) and pass legislation that will give people of all income levels incentive to grow their own food, buy locally, and eat more sensibly.

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