“Why don’t candidates talk about food?”

That’s a question asked by the Des Moines Register‘s editorial board this weekend, who also pointed out that the “first-in-the nation caucuses are held in one of the world’s great agricultural centers.”

It should be a major issue for presidential candidates, the Register says, because

The editorial also points to research showing that Americans want to change the food system, have broad support for government incentives to encourage sustainable farming practices, and express strong concern that one-third of children today will develop type-2 diabetes. The editorial also notes the “wave of consolidation is sweeping through agriculture” that “will have ramifications throughout the food chain,” such as the proposed Dow/DuPoint merger.

“What will it take to get politicians to talk about butter as much as about guns?” the editorial asks.

One organization that agrees that food should be a major issue for presidential leadership is the Union of Concerned Scientists.

They, along with Food Policy Action and the HEAL Food Alliance, launched the Plate of the Union Initiative to urge political leaders to talk about reforming the food system. 

“Plate of the Union is the first coordinated campaign effort to get candidates running for President talking about our broken food system,” Tom Colicchio, co-founder of Food Policy Action, said in October 2015. 

“The truth is, our current food system is out of balance,” he added. “It prioritizes corporate profits at the expense of our health, the environment and working families. The next President needs to take bold steps to reform our food system to ensure all Americans have equal access to healthy, affordable food.”

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