Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with U.S. Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), who was one of the speakers at the 2015 Food Tank Summit in partnership with The George Washington University.
Food Tank (FT): What will your message be at the Food Tank Summit?
Chellie Pingree (CP): It’s important for policy makers to listen to the increasing number of Americans demanding reform in our food system. And it’s just as important for people who care about quality, affordable, sustainably-produced food to keep talking to policy makers about priorities.
FT: How are you contributing to building a better food system?
CP: Working to reform policy in Washington to support sustainable farmers and give consumers better access to fresh, local, affordable food.
FT: What are the biggest obstacles or challenges you face in achieving your organization’s goals?
CP: Food policy in the United States has been biased toward giant agribusiness, monoculture, and factory farms. Smaller farms that produce a variety of crops, often selling it locally, are more sustainable and more likely to benefit the local economy
FT: Who is your food hero and why?
CP: Eliot Coleman and his wife Barbara Damrosch have an amazing organic farm in Maine, where they are constantly innovating and teaching others. Eliot was my first instructor, and taught me a tremendous amount about organic growing farming.
FT: In 140 characters or fewer, what is the most important thing we can all do to help change the food system?
CP: Tell your elected leaders how important sustainable, affordable, locally produced food is to you.