BalanceofFood.com had fun recently in endorsing Michelle Obama to continue as First Lady, regardless of what happens on Election Day.
Whether your passion is food safety, proper labeling, school lunches, food advertising, visible calorie displays on menus, food stamps, or organic food, who you vote for makes a difference. Yes, the United States has a race for president today. Representatives, senators, state reps and senators, local officials, judges — all of these people impact all these food issues.
Of course, the president has something to do with that, such as requiring calorie counts in chain restaurants, passed as part of Obamacare.
The world of food would greatly benefit from having two parties who cared about these issues. In some cases, we can't get Dems on board (e.g., Blanche Lincoln).
All of the changes that were implemented that have shown visible progress came when the Democratic Party was in control of the House of Representatives. This means almost two years without any new legislation. That 6¢ increase in school lunches looms larger in the rear-view mirror.
Christie Vilsack, wife of Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, is running for Steve King's seat in Iowa. If you hear her name tonight, that could be a sign that voters are responding to the idea of working toward an improved food supply.
This isn't to say that government can or should solve all our problems with the food supply. As we've noted, government is part of the problem. The private companies that are doing the most damage could step up. They aren't and they aren't being prodded by the GOP to do anything that will help.
California's Proposition 37 is a great example of where private companies are spending millions to prevent food labeling of GMO foods. Even if you find out who wins for the presidency, you'll need to stay up to see how Proposition 37 does in California.
As for a potential Romney-Ryan administration, food stamps would be in danger of cutbacks. The moderate victories on school lunches could be overturned, depending on how the House and Senate races go. Food safety could go back to the levels set by George W. Bush, or get even worse. If Obamacare gets repealed, the requirements to post calories on menus disappears. And who knows if Ann Romney would dig up the White House Organic Garden and put up a parking lot.
No matter how involved you are in improving the food process, the best way to help is to vote. The status quo counts on apathy at the voting booth. A high turnout voting rate is the only thing that scares politicians; think of voting as kryptonite for politicians.