As a working cartoonist, dad, concerned food eater, and a (hopefully) informed voter, I savored Marion Nestle’s new book, Eat Drink Vote: Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide To Food Politics.It tackles complex food issues in an informative, yet wildly entertaining fashion. Thanks to her clear and concise writing, and the able help of 50 or so of the best cartoonists around, including Jeff Danziger and Dan Piraro, my buddy Rick Kirkman of “Baby Blues” fame, and the estimable New Yorker contributors Bob Staake and Mike Twohy, not to mention Moms Clean Air Force’s very own Liza Donnelly,
Nestle confronts the question:How are food and politics related? Okay, okay, some of you may want to simply insert your favorite politician joke here, but if the politics of food seems like a weighty issue, then Eat Drink Vote is the book for you (see sample pages here). Nestle takes on everything from the U.S. Agricultural System to World Hunger, from Microbes in the Food Supply to Irradiation. To help the reader swallow some of the unpalatable news, she enlists the sugarcoated help of the Cartoonist Group. This makes the medicine go down with a smile.
What’s eating our kids? Of particular interest are the chapters on food safety, contamination and the politics of feeding our kids. The widespread use of herbicides and pesticides, particularly glyphosate weed killers, as is the presence of bisphenol A in baby bottles and food cans, and methylmercury in fish, all highlight the importance of keeping dangerous neurotoxins (mercury) and cancer-causing toxics (BPA) out of the brains, blood and bodies of our kids.
And it wouldn’t be a book about food politics without the mention of two of the more dramatic results of combining questionable business practices with lackluster governmental oversight — causing environmental devastation: oil and radioactivity contaminating seafood in the waters of the Gulf and in the Sea of Japan. So vote, as I hope we all did just a few weeks ago, with your mind and heart — just don’t forget that you can also, “Vote With Your Fork!”