According to the LA Times Blog, for the third year running, The Daily Meal has released a list of the 50 most powerful people in food, the people, as they say, “decide what and how you eat, whether you realize it or not.” And while the list has its fair share of celebrity chefs — the Wolfgang Pucks, the Anthony Bourdains — there are also a lot of folks on the list that wield their power from a less visible vantage point.
There’s Bill Marler, the foodborne illness lawyer who has become an advocate for a safer food supply. There’s Bill Shore, the founder and CEO of Share Our Strength. There’s James P. Hoffa, the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The list is not international in its scope, and it leaves out farmers completely, as well as any farm advocacy voices. Women make up only 25% of the list, and it does seem odd that none of the TV chefs represented are women — if you’re going to have Guy Fieri (they do) it seems a stretch to leave out Rachael Ray and Paula Deen. But overall, it is an impressive look at the world of food, politics and policy in America today.
Bill Marler is the publisher of Food Safety News.