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Farmers dropped from list


Editorial


Any list of important people in the world of food would include at least one farmer.


Or so you'd think.


The people in charge of The Daily Meal, a new website for "foodies," think otherwise. They compiled a list of the 50 most powerful people in the food world. On it are the consumer -- that's a no-brainer -- and all sorts of corporate and political bigwigs. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is there. So are Wal-Mart's Mike Duke and McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. And the Kraft and Cargill bosses, Irene Rosenfeld and Gregory Page.


Alice Waters, the matriarch of the foodie world and San Francisco restaurateur, is there. Michael Pollan, the loudest, if not the most coherent, voice for changing how food is produced, is there. Michelle Obama is there, too, right next to Monsanto's Hugh Grant.


There are some surprises, too. Apple computer wizard Steve Jobs was chosen for all of the fun little food applications available on his electronic gadgetry. Another surprise is PETA's founder, Ingrid Newkirk, whose organization campaigns against food in the form of meat.


But among all of the chefs, big shots, billionaires -- Oprah Winfrey is there, too -- we didn't see a single farmer.


Which makes us wonder: What would all of these "important" people would do if no one grew their food?



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