Michael Pollan Names the World's 7 Most Powerful Foodies

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Famed food writer/philosopher Michael Pollan has picked the seven individuals he considers to be the most powerful voices in the good food movement from around the world and published his list on Forbes.com.

One of the seven is Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group’s president and co-founder. He made Pollan’s list for his years of advocacy before Congress as he worked to reform federal farm and food policies and to increase funding for nutrition and conservation programs. In battles over the last eight farm bills, Cook has consistently pressed for more investment in fruits, vegetables and organic agriculture, arguing that the entrenched farm subsidy system that sends billions of taxpayer dollars each year to profitable corn, cotton and other commodity growers wastes scarce resources while damaging the environment and the nation’s health.

Earlier this year, Cook delivered a talk before a group of thought leaders titled, “Changing the Farm Bill to a Food Bill.” It’s worth watching.

In addition to Cook, Pollan’s top-seven list included First Lady Michelle Obama, noted New York University professor and nutritionist Marion Nestle, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman, Slow Food USA’s Josh Viertel, urban farmer Will Allen and the head of Wal-Mart’s grocery division, Jack Sinclair.

Congress was scheduled to reauthorize the federal farm bill next year (2012), but leaders of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are doing everything they can to insert the language that they and lobbyists for Big Ag want into the deficit reduction proposal they will make to the Congressional “Super Committee.” This “secret farm bill” end-run is designed to deny the rest of Congress and the public any opportunity to weigh in on the plan that will set the country’s agriculture, food and nutrition policies for the next five years. As usual, Ken Cook is leading the fight to stop them.