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Tom Vilsack Update - 2.15.09

(Good to hear what our ex-gov's been up to. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

I’m beginning to feel like a stalker. Let’s see what our friend Secretary Vilsack is up to this week.

First, Tom Vilsack, The New Face of Agriculture gave an interview to the Washington Post.

Food during my early years was a very difficult issue for me. I grew up in an addictive family. My mother had serious problems with alcohol and prescription drugs. I was an overweight kid. I can remember back in those days there weren’t the strategies that there are today to deal with those issues. So my parents put this very nasty cartoon of a very overweight young kid with a beanie cap and pasted it on the front of the refrigerator. So every time I opened the refrigerator I had to look at that picture.

Food is a fairly significant aspect of my life. I have struggled mightily with food. With my weight. And I’m conscious of it. So I have a sensitivity to people who struggle with their weight. That’s one aspect people don’t fully appreciate. I don’t want youngsters to go through what I went through.

There are ways we can go do a better job of educating young moms and dads about the vital role they have as the child’s first teacher. I think there are ways in which we can partner with local school districts and states to do a better job to provide nutrition options at school. It’s our responsibility to get this health-care crisis under control. I think if people understand that history and how serious I am about this and look at the record in Iowa — the real record in Iowa — they would be less concerned than they were.

Wow. As somebody who loved and lost a brother who had a childhood all too similar to Vilsack’s, I just want to give him a big hug.

More below…

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Vilsack Update: What's the New SecAg Up To?

(Thanks to Jill/OrangeClouds for the cross-post. Click "there's more" to read the whole thing! - promoted by desmoinesdem)

Hello, Iowans… I post over at La Vida Locavore and Desmoinesdem asked me to cross-post this diary so you guys could keep tabs on your ex-gov. Can’t say I blame you… gotta keep those politicians out of trouble 🙂

Crazy! Tom Vilsack made headlines for saying the USDA should serve eaters! What, is he reading Michael Pollan now? Well, let’s hope so.

“This is a department that intersects the lives of Americans two to three times a day. Every single American,” he said. “So I absolutely see the constituency of this department as broader than those who produce our food — it extends to those who consume it.”

Michael Pollan nailed it in his response when he said, “He’s definitely sounding a different note than his predecessors. Whether they’ll be reflected in policies remains to be seen.”

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