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Cory Booker: Food Is Not a Neatly Partisan Issue

Published November 2, 2022

Talking with one of our most forward-thinking Senators

“I just don’t know how we can comfortably sit and know our government has agricultural policies that are poisoning us, that are accelerating death and destruction because of the massive growth of diet related diseases. I just don’t understand how we cannot call that a crisis, when it’s the number one killer of Americans.”

I have a very special pre-Election Day guest on Food with Mark Bittman this week, and that’s Senator Cory Booker, who has become a friend. We met about ten years ago, when he invited me to his offices in DC, and we sat and talked about food and food issues for a good hour and a half.

Then we kind of fell out of touch, and this year, we reached out to each other and got together for a more relaxed conversation — perhaps a more aimless conversation! — but we realized we really liked each other, so we saw each other again and had lunch and did this podcast.

I’m an admirer of Senator Booker. He’s on the Agriculture Committee now, and is a Senator who’s taking food and obviously many other issues seriously. We talked mostly about food, the Democratic Party, the future of politics in America, and the possibility of real change — but also about the technical definition of disadvantaged farmers, what justice for Black farmers means, and how we can get back to more regional and local food systems.

Senator Booker is playful, too — there are dad jokes in this interview. A rare opportunity to have a heart-to-heart one-on-one with one of our best Senators.

Please listen and subscribe, and please review on Apple, as it really helps. 

Thank you, as always. — Mark

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