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The US is in the middle of what is quite possibly the most controversial presidential election. There are good reasons against one, and even better reasons against the other candidate. I am not a very political person, and well, I am not even a US citizen but it is my second home and I care a whole lot about the earth we all live in.
After having spent hours watching ridiculous debates and interviews, and I admit they are highly entertaining, I wanted to look into what’s important to me- the environment.
So, what do the the candidates eat, what do they stand for in terms of food, agriculture and climate change?
Hillary Clinton prefers to buy local foods, makes healthy food choices and had her own organic garden in the White House when she was First Lady. She also likes spicy foods- maybe jalapenos will help with the stamina and endurance?
If Hillary became president the following things are likely to happen:
The SNAP program (food stamps) currently provides 45 million people with nutritional assistance, half of those are low-income children. Hillary pledges to protect and further expand the program.
Climate change: the Democratic party takes this issue seriously and calls for a summit in the first 100 days. (source)
GMOs: Hillary supports genetically modified crops and crop biotechnology in order to alleviate world hunger. She is in favor of GMO labeling. (source)
While she has worked with former Monsanto-lobbyist Jerry Crawford and The Clinton Foundation has received large donations from Monsanto, there are no records of Monsanto funding her presidential campaign.
Hillary supports the Farm Bill, including: helping farmers to reduce the use of chemicals, she opposes the use of antibiotics in meat production and works to improve food safety for school lunch programs (source).
She co-sponsored a legislation to protect animal rights and supports the Humane Society (source).
On Hillary Clinton’s Agricultural Advisory team:
Tom Vilsack, former secretary of Department of Agriculture – pro organic agriculture, local food production, family farms and farmers markets. At the same time he has also been an advocate of GMO agriculture.
Dr. Dean Ornish, White House advisory board under Obama, preventive medicine physician, plant-based diet advocate. He also trained the chefs at the White House, Air Force One and Camp David to prepare more whole foods for the staff.
© Facebook Hillary Clinton
Since Trump has never held public office there are not many public statements I had to turn to his favorite news channel, Twitter, and found the following: “Happy #CincoDeMayo! The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill. I love Hispanics!” Now, I don’t have to be a communications advisor to list all the reasons why this tweet is laughable. But maybe he is just showing that he likes to keep all things Mexican inside a nice big (fried tortilla) wall.
I also google “Trump eating”, I advise you not to do that, but what I found are countless pictures of the Republican candidate posing with steaks, meats on a stick and fast food. Fun Fact: He hates double dippers. (source)
If Donald Trump became President the following is likely to happen:
The Republican party has been working on reducing the SNAP program for years now and Trumps wants to split the program from the USDA and the farm bill which will likely result in budget cuts.
Climate change: Trump has not only called the climate change a hoax and invented for and by the Chinese, but he also has plans to abolish the Paris treaty. (source)
EPA: Trump has plans to eliminate the agency that protects the environment and human health by writing and enforcing regulations like pesticides, CO2 emissions etc. (source)
GMOs: The 2016 Republican platform states the opposition of mandatory labeling of GMOs
On Donald Trump’s Agricultural Advisory team:
Charles Herbster, owner of agricultural enterprises, is known to support pro-trade, support biotechnology and pesticide use and limited environmental and land use regulation. (source)
Todd Staples, former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, resigned in protest of “Meatless Mondays” in schools because it’s an “evil vegetarian plot”. (source)
Pat Roberts, primary sponsor of the DARK Act (the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act) to mask GMO labeling. By the way, this act was just passed by President Obama…
Sid Miller, Texas Ag Commissioner. His first act when he was elected was to revoke the policy that banned foods with high levels of sugar and fat in schools, “Let them eat cake”, he said with a cupcake in his hands. (source). He also shared a post on Facebook about dropping an atomic bomb on the “Muslim World” and compared Syrian refugees with venomous rattlesnakes (source)
Terry Brandstad, Iowa Governor, advocate of the “Ag-Gag law” which is meant to silence animal-abuse whistleblowers exposing industrial farms through video and photos.
Forrest Lucas, founder of “Protect the Harvest”, fighting against animal welfare policy and the Humane society. He is pro-puppy mills and sport hunting of endangered animals.
© Facebook Donald J. Trump
My research simply shows what would happen if either candidate becomes the 45th President of the United States. Neither choice is ideal, and this isn’t necessarily a question of voting for a Democrat or a Republican but a choice of living in the best interest for our environment, the animals, and humankind.
Editor’s note: If you’re curious now why Mia is so interested in environmental issues you should take a look at her work. With her project Cómo Comer she hosts pop up events to show how easy it is to eat healthy and vegan and living a healthy lifestyle no matter where you are.
Furthermore she and her companion share their journey adventures on their instagram account The art of moving. Start following her journey and maybe you’re lucky and can share a meal with her on the road some day.