The Last Word with Food Journalist Mark Bittman

The Last Word with Food Journalist Mark Bittman
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Lorenzo Pesce/Contrasto/Redux

For five years he led the national food conversation with his column in the New York Times. Now a partner in the meal-kit delivery company Purple Carrot, the prolific author wants to get Americans cooking vegan--and understanding why it matters.

I don't see absolute veganism as a goal; increased consumption of plants and decreased consumption of animal products and junk is the goal. It's good for personal and environmental health.

I feel terrible about the Purple Carrot packaging. We're working on this stuff daily--replacing the plastic with paper or something else biodegradable; reducing the weight; figuring out how to substitute the gel packs.

Obama made a conscious decision to relegate food to a second-tier priority. By assigning it to his wife, he sent a very clear message. She had no teeth and no power. It really annoys the hell out of me.

I think GMOs should be labeled. But I'd rather know what pesticides are being used and if the people producing my food work in near-slavery conditions.

There's a nascent food movement in this country. But the folks in it have failed to make people understand that this stuff matters. Not because we haven't tried, but because there haven't been enough of us.

I'm going to be a grandfather. I'm hopeful that by the time my grandson is a teen, we won't have antibiotics in the food supply. We'll have subsidized fruits and vegetables, curbs on factory farms. How optimistic am I? I can answer that better after the presidential election, because so much depends on it.

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