Donald Trump's slogan states that he wants to “make America great again,” but where does the man who wants to get "smart, vigilant and tough," stand on food issues? Besides his adoration of Mexican food, KFC, and steak, it seems Trump, aside from an occasional tweet or interview response, doesn't have many clear public opinions on food policy.

One thing he has made quite clear, however, is his opinion on climate change. Trump considers climate change a "hoax," and has mentioned his intentions of eliminating the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and would "cancel" the US involvement in the Paris Agreement, which is a document pledging 195 nations around the world (including the USA) to do their part to slow global warming.

vegetable, pasture, tomato, garlic
Amanda Shulman

While at first glance not a food issue, environmental and climate change policies have a large impact on the food system. First, the EPA controls the public water supply, as well as levels of pesticides allowed in the food system (i.e., why your mother always tells you to wash your non-organic strawberries).

Water is crucial to agriculture and a safe food supply. Moreover, it's essential for human life for drinking purposes (because who can forget the ongoing crisis in Flint?). As far as pesticides go, the EPA is in charge of determining safe levels of potentially toxic substances that help keep the food system pest-free. 

lemon, water, lemonade
Caroline Liu

Trump has also expressed his distaste for the funding put into the Supplemental Nutrition Aid Program, or SNAP (the program formerly known as 'food stamps').

In his book, Time to Get Tough, Trump said the following: "The food stamp program was originally created as temporary assistance for families with momentary times of need. And it shouldn't be needed often. Thankfully, 96 percent of America's poor parents say their children never suffer even a day of hunger. But when half of food stamp recipients have been on the dole for nearly a decade, something is clearly wrong, and some of it has to do with fraud.”  

A quick fact check on the ERS USDA website indicates that, in fact, 12.7% of US households are food insecure (meaning they don't have enough to eat), which is down from 14% in 2014, and there are strict monetary guidelines in place to enroll in the program to ensure it reaches those in need.

apple, juice, sweet
Katherine Baker

Moreover, SNAP actually keeps an estimated 45 million people, many of them children, from going hungry.  While it's unclear where Trump's stats came from, national research does not seem to reflect his statements.

He also posted the following message of outrage his Facebook page in 2013: "No cuts to welfare, no cuts to food stamps, and NOT A SINGLE CUT TO OBAMACARE, yet the new budget cuts military benefits. Sad!," further indicating his stance on the issue.

Andrea Leelike

When it comes to GMOs, Trump at one time retweeted a tweet that suggested an anti-GMO stance, and later deleted the retweet, blaming it on an intern. Then when asked by the Iowa Farm Bureau: "Do you support the use of biotechnology in food products and oppose efforts to require mandatory labeling for foods simply because they contain ingredients from biotechnology?," he simply answered, "Yes." 

While one can only trace a limited amount of public statements about food issues made by Trump, a look at some of his proposed chairpeople can give a sense of the food policy climate to come if Trump is elected.

For example, Trump has selected Charles Herbster, owner of a large cattle-breeding company and a pesticide company, to head the Agricultural Advisory Committee, which may be seen as controversial, as a cattle mogul in charge could be a potential hazard to sustainable agriculture (beef is the least sustainable agricultural product there is).

And then, of course, there's a look at Trump's own diet. The man, at least publicly, seems to have an adoration for fast food.

Perhaps he's a closet kale lover, but the majority of food photos Trump posts to social media consist mainly of fast or prepared food. He's also made it quite clear that he actually loves Hispanics, as evidenced by his consumption of a taco bowl from the Trump Tower Grill

And on a recent stint with Dr. Oz, Trump's health record indicated that he is overweight and takes statins to lower his blood cholesterol, but is in otherwise good health.

When asked about the childhood obesity epidemic by an audience member, Trump stated that he imagines that much of obesity is "hereditary," and expressed his support of sports to combat the problem.

As election day draws closer, learning about the issues, food policy included, can help you make your decision. And if you're not already registered to vote, do it right now, here