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4. Rich Killingsworth
This nation is experiencing a shift in health promotion practice from choice-based approaches that focus on personal responsibility to regulatory-based approaches that support the concept that behavior and the systems that enabled it should be controlled and enforced. This stark paradigm shift is beginning to erode the traditional civic values of transparency, inclusion, and impartial collaboration that were historically essential in finding common ground and mutually beneficial solutions in community-building efforts. As a result, we now see polarizing agendas being prosecuted under the auspices that it is good for our health and pocket book. Recently, the beverage industry has been confronted with significant challenges in its attempt to provide consumers with beverage choices. The posture that the beverage industry and others assume will be critically important--not only to a free marketplace, but also to consumers and the core values of individual liberty and freedom.
Richard E. Killingsworth is senior advisor with the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.
5. Rachel Laudan
I’d love to see the government get out of regulating organic food labeling. By playing on a false dichotomy between natural and artificial pesticides and fertilizers, proponent[s] of organic food have been able to market it as the safe, healthy and tasty option. These claims have been refuted. Yet continued government involvement diverts attention from real issues of food safety, works against small farmers who cannot afford the expensive certification process, and puts wind in the sails of a romantic, nostalgic agrarian movement that turns its back on the science and technology essential to farming and the food industry.
Rachel Laudan, Ph.D., is a historian and is a visiting scholar with the Lozano Long Institute for Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
6. Jayson Lusk
The government-funded school lunch program is a bureaucratic nightmare that attempts to do too much: prop up agricultural prices, provide calories to poor under-nourished children, slim the waistlines of the obese, and it forces schools to follow complex rules subject to annual audit. The government subsidizes the price of foods sold from selected distributors and it re-reimburses schools for certain types of students. Why not take these same funds and provide block-grants to schools and let local school boards make their own decisions outside the complex government formula system? We allow charter schools. Why not charter lunchrooms?
Jayson Lusk, Ph.D. is a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University.
7. Walter Olson
Thanks to federal incentives, it was revealed recently, New York’s education department at one point had forty school lunch specialists compared with one specialist in science education. The lunches kept getting worse, too, or so I observed as a New York public school parent. Now they’re moving on to federally funded school breakfast, weekend, and summer feeding. We can’t all afford to escape these dismal mandates by fleeing to private school, but as Baylen has pointed out, most of us can afford to pack bag and box lunches. Policy recommendation? Get ready to fight the inevitable attempts to restrict food sent from home.
Walter Olson is senior fellow at the Cato Institute and blogs at Overlawyered.com.
8. Joel Salatin
The single issue most pressing is a Food Emancipation Proclamation allowing every American sovereignty over their own internal community of 3 trillion [microbes]. Each person is responsible for this internal community. To place any other entity responsible is to enslave each person’s body to another’s ownership. President Obama, being black, and Mitt Romney, being pro-life, would bring fascinating perceptions to this issue. When we talk about rights, like [a] right to gun ownership or right to health care, what about the right of a person to determine how to feed his/her community of beings that ultimately determines the life fitness for the person to participate in elections and political discourse?
Joel Salatin is a farmer, author, and local food advocate.