Last night, I stopped by the Colbert Report to talk about the critical role the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plays in promoting healthy eating. I am familiar with Stephen’s unfortunate bear phobia, so Smokey Bear was asked to stay back at headquarters. The topics of hunger and nutrition, however, are no laughing matter, so I was excited to have the opportunity to discuss these important issues with Stephen and his viewers.
We at USDA take our responsibility very seriously – ensuring access to healthy and affordable food for our nation’s families during these challenging economic times. We oversee a vast portfolio, including the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs which touch the lives of one in four Americans each year. Together, these programs form a hunger safety net. And as I emphasized on the show, Congress has the opportunity to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and in doing so, make a commitment to reduce hunger, improve the health of our children and support their academic achievement.
I also wanted to show Stephen firsthand some of the handiwork of American agricultural producers. At the end of the show I presented the host with a bust of himself sculpted in cheddar from the largest organic dairy cooperative in the country to which he said, “I may be Cheddar but I look Gouda.” Thanks to everyone at the Colbert Report for the opportunity to share information about USDA. See the full interview here.