The World’s 7 Most Powerful Foodies

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Though still quite young, the movement to reform the American food system, from farm to diet, is one of the most hopeful social movements of our time. Famed food writer/philosopher Michael Pollan has picked the seven individuals he considers to be the most powerful voices in the good food movement from around the world and published his list on

One of the seven is Ken Cook, Environmental Working Group’s president and co-founder. He made Pollan’s list for his years of advocacy before Congress as he worked to reform federal farm and food policies and to increase funding for nutrition and conservation programs. In battles over the last eight farm bills, Cook has consistently pressed for more investment in fruits, vegetables and organic agriculture, arguing that the entrenched farm subsidy system that sends billions of taxpayer dollars each year to profitable corn, cotton and other commodity growers wastes scarce resources while damaging the environment and the nation’s health.

The other six individuals include:

  • Michelle Obama, First Lady, U.S.

Her Let’s Move campaign has moved the food issue to the top of the national agenda, shining a bright light on the links between childhood obesity and America’s fast food diet.

  • Marion Nestle, Professor, New York University

She is an indispensible voice on the problems of the American diet and their roots in industry marketing and government policy.

  • Josh Viertel, President, Slow Food USA

He has moved the American wing of this international organization front and center on questions of access and policy, while continuing to celebrate the cultural and biological diversity of our food traditions.

  • Will Allen, Urban Farmer

His Growing Power farm in Milwaukee has demonstrated that urban agriculture has the potential to bring not only good food to the inner city but good jobs as well.

  • Jack Sinclair, Head of Grocery, Wal-Mart

He buys more food than anyone in America. He’s moving the nation’s biggest food retailer to regionalize its produce buying and make its processed foods less toxic.

  • Mark Bittman, Columnist, The New York Times

Bittman has demonstrated time and again that cooking and eating real food is more doable, affordable, and pleasurable than a fast food nation ever realized.

For more information on Ken Cook and to watch a video of him in action,  check out the story on the Environmental Working Group’s website.

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