After having gone to yesterday's Senate Finance Committee Hearing on the nominations of two new USTR ambassadors (Mr. Siddiqui and Mr. Punke), today's shout out goes to Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon who seems to be one of the only people running the government who understands that "sustainable agriculture" means organic agriculture and not the development of biotechnology. Having spent increasingly more time in the halls of Washington, I've been amazed (and mostly disillusioned) at how many people think "sustainability" means feeding the world and increasing yields through more robust usage of Genetic Modification. And Siddiqui is definitely one of those people.
How Siddiqui was nominated to the post of Chief Agricultural Trade Representative at the office of the USTR, I don't even know. Considering his current vice-presidency at Croplife America, the country's biggest agrochemical industry trade group, I don't know how you could even begin think of this man when you hear the world 'agriculture'. Surely his massive donations to the Obama campaign has nothing to do with his nomination... or is that just me and my wishful thinking again? At least there's been some serious backlash against his nomination (backlash you can contribute to I might add, if you just click here to sign a petition against his nomination. Thanks as always OCA!).
But dwelling on the positive, it was so refreshing to have someone (aka. Senator Wyden) from the current government saying that not only was he personally interested in using truly environmentally-friendly and sustainable solutions to increase trade and deal with climate change, but that he was also raising these questions for Mr. Siddiqui in response to demands made by his constituents. Sen. Wyden gets democracy. He gets the growing problems in our current agricultural system, and he actually wants to do something about it!... Unfortunately, and even though we call ourselves a democracy, that's rare. So, thank Senator Wyden, and thank you everyone in Oregon who elected this guy!
Speaking of doing good things for the environment: the raw food diet! I still wanted to end today on a happy note, so along with my new found love for Oregon, I want to share what I've been eating with you. Like a million other raw blogs point out, we don't just eat salad and drink green juices (though I do love those!). Here's what really goes on in my kitchen: