Eight years of food and agricultural policy under President Barack Obama was mostly chaff. First Lady Michelle Obama planted an organic garden on the White House grounds and sought to work with the food industry to reduce calories, reformulate foods, and promote exercise in an unsuccessful attempt to reduce obesity rates in this country. Obama’s activist FDA banned trans fats, pushed for “added sugar” labeling on packaged foods, and adopted sweeping new food safety regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act. The Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature legislation, contains requirements for nationwide calorie labeling on many restaurant menus.
Farm subsidies administered by the USDA ballooned to unprecedented levels during the Obama administration. The USDA co-published controversial new dietary guidelines. And the First Lady championed changes to the USDA National School Lunch Program that mandated the serving of more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Given Trump’s putative status as the anti-Obama, how might a Trump administration differ from his predecessor when it comes to food and agricultural policy? We’ve gotten an early glimpse. Food police writer Baylen Linnekin reads the signs.