Q&A: Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle, author of <i>What to Eat</i> and professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, on the destruction of the FDA.

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Mother Jones: Of all the things the Bush administration leaves behind, what will be the easiest, and hardest, things to fix?

Marion Nestle: In my area, three issues leap to mind: the systematic destruction of the FDA, leaving our food-safety system in peril; the expanding income gap between rich and poor that has so increased food insecurity; and the failure to address environmental causes of childhood obesity. The first two will be the hardest to fix. The FDA needs not only money, but talented and politically independent personnel. The rising income gap requires a major restructuring of tax and welfare policies and renegotiation of the social contract between rich and poor. The obesity problem requires limits on food marketing to children; school lunches tied to instruction about nutrition, health, and food production; and development of supervised play areas and community resources such as bicycle paths. All of those ought to be relatively easy, given political will.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend