Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with Chuck Benbrook of Benbrook Consulting Services, who will be speaking at the summit.
Food Tank (FT): What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?
Chuck Benbrook (CB): Playing in the dirt as a child. I was hooked on soil health before I even understood what it meant.
FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?
CB: Improve the nutritional quality and safety of food, while also convincing people to make more disciplined dietary choices so we, as a nation, don’t eat ourselves to death.
FT: What innovations in agriculture and the food system are you most excited about?
CB: Incrementally moving animal agriculture from CAFOs and grain-based systems back onto family-run farms and grass-based diets. No single change will do more to address a broader array of contemporary human health, animal welfare, and environmental challenges.
FT: What drives you every day to fight for the bettering of our food system?
CB: Recognition that, while great in many ways, the United States food system could do so much more to promote our health, the wellbeing of the nation, and the planet.
FT: What’s the biggest problem within the food system our parents and grandparents didn’t have to deal with?
FT: What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?
CB: Obesity and its attendant maladies.
FT: What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?
CB: Never buy or drink sugar-sweetened beverages.
FT: What’s one issue within the food system you’d like to see completely solved for the next generation?
CB: Antibiotic resistance. If the world community does not get serious about preserving antibiotic efficacy, future generations will have to forego so many of the surgical procedures our aging population is becoming increasingly dependent on. Subtherapeutic use of antibiotics on livestock farms is the well of newly resistant genes driving this global problem.
FT: What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?
CB: Shifting taxpayer expenditures away from foods that contribute to obesity, diabetes, and a host of other health problems, and increasing investments in fruits, vegetables, and whole grain supply chains.
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