Tomato Paste is a Vegetable

Quoting from the Introduction to Eat Drink Vote "... A dab of tomato paste on pizza now counts as a vegetable in school lunches. Kids get fewer servings of real vegetables in those lunches. Food companies now know that Congress will take care of them if they don't like federal regulations. And the public now knows that no regulation - no matter how strongly recommended by nutrition and health experts and supported by research - is too small to be overturned by Congress to please corporate constituents."

This helps to introduce the key idea of Eat Drink Vote: "Because everyone eats, everyone has a vested interest - a stake - in how food is produced, sold, and consumed, and therefore, in how food issues are interpreted."

Individuals, nutrition and health experts, government agencies, the food industry - from production to consumption .... all have opinions about food and food politics. How the opinions are expressed, heard and acted upon determines what appears on your plate - and on your pizza.

You can't stop eating so here's to knowing a bit more about how the tomato sauce might get on your pizza and to having a bigger say in if it gets there at all.

Vote with your time: If this interest you, here is a group you may want to check-out.

And here is a list of other groups working on this issue and others.
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Matt Wuerker on the Ag Bill – Money Falls From the Sky

Matt Wuerker is the Editorial Cartoonist at Politico which means he has a front row seat on the politics of food. He provided the following background about the above cartoon which is featured on p. 6 of Eat Drink Vote.

"This cartoon resulted from the disparity between the perception of who is believed to receive ag subsidies versus who does. The family farmer is an archetype that is increasingly hard to find. These folks have been supplanted (a little ag wordplay!) by corporate 'farmers' who are more comfortable in limos than on plows."

He continues "The subsidy amounts are huge. I considered using a river to show the money flowing through the farmlands. Instead I opted for a crop duster because of their role not only in the hard work of agriculture but also in our romanticized view of agriculture - and, the deciding factor - they are fun to draw."

Vote with your time: You might want to see some of the groups working on agricultural policy.
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Amazon Posts Interview with Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle was interviewed by Kerry Trueman about Eat Drink Vote. The interview is posted on Amazon ... and a question about this cartoon that was omitted is posted on Marion's site, Food Politics!

In the interview, Marion addresses the importance of food policy. If this interests you, here is one group you might want to check out - Food Research and Action Center. If you'd like to see other groups active in food policy as well as other aspects of the food movement, please see here.
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ACGA Attendee Sarah Vradenburg Wins Signed Copy

There are so many great groups working hard to help individuals vote with their forks. One is the American Community Gardening Association. From their website: "The Mission of the American Community Gardening Association is to build community by increasing and enhancing community gardening and greening across the United States and Canada."

Eat Drink Vote attended ACGA's recent conference in Seattle and previewed a black and white galley copy of the book. We also offered the chance for an attendee to win a signed copy of the four-color book upon its Sept. 3 publication.

Today, we are happy to announce that Sarah Vradenburg is the winner!

When learning of her win, Sarah responded "Thank you so much!! I have many people who would love to have one, at least once I show them my copy. Believe it or not, lots of my friends eat, drink AND vote!! Imagine that. Again, thanks. I am thrilled to win something on topics so dear to my heart." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Vote with your time: Here is a list of other groups that might interest you.
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Food Politics and NYC Mayoral Election

Marion Nestle recently moderated a food forum for candidates for mayor in New York City. She posted about it on her blog Food Politics. This was an exciting event not just because of what it meant to the voters of New York City but because of what it indicated about the food movement. As Nestle notes in her post, "The food movement is strong enough to make candidates for office stand up, listen and take food issues seriously." The forum was the result of 88 food advocacy groups coordinating their efforts. Nestle comments that this "... proved that food coalitions can have political power." Concluding the post, Nestle states "I can’t think of a better time for food advocacy groups to join forces and work collectively toward common food system goals." Here's to that! Join the 1,000+ in the audience plus an overflow crowd! Watch Marion and the candidates here. Vote with your time: Here are groups working on diverse food-related issues.
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Blog Begins With The Book’s Final Cartoon

One more cause to consider, one more group to support?!  Who has time for this?!

Unlike other causes or movements, this one is headquartered in your kitchen, at your dining room table. Each time you pay for food or take a bite, you contribute to the cause. The same is true each time you mark a ballot. If you eat, you are a card-carrying member of the food movement.

Eat Drink Vote outlines key factors that influence what food is available to you and provides ideas about how you may take action to encourage the food system to provide food choices that are good for you. Cartoons from leading cartoonists are included so as to take a more colorful approach, shall we say. So, here's to making decisions that are based on a broader understanding of how the food system works ... and to smiling in the process.

This caricature of Marion Nestle was done by Clay Bennett and is seen publicly for the first time here.  It is the last image in Eat Drink Vote.  We use it to start the book's blog and invite you to visit here often to see text and cartoons from the book, comments by cartoonists, announcements about events ... who knows!
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