Questions on food for classrooms and book clubs
- What has the impact of marketing unhealthy, highly processed foods been on the US diet in terms of the types of foods we consume most? Describe some of the tactics and campaigns that food and beverage companies use to market unhealthy food.
- What are some of the primary health concerns that emerge form not eating enough healthy food or eating too much unhealthy food?
- What sorts of grocery stores do you have access to in your neighborhood? Is it easy or difficult to find healthy, wholesome foods? Why do you think that is? And why do some communities have healthy grocery stores, farmers markets, and nutritious restaurants, while others don’t?
- Does your current community prioritize a healthy and equitable food environment? What changes do hometowns/cities/municipalities need to make to be more supportive of healthier foods? Who decides? Who needs to be “at the table” to change conditions who decides? Who needs to be “at the table” to change conditions? What social groups, networks, and sectors can be mobilized to create change?
- Describe the role of the Farm Bill in shaping the US food system. Discuss examples of how the Farm Bill programs could be strengthened to support a healthier, more sustainable and fair food system.
- The Healthy Food Financing Initiative created a program to eliminate ‘food deserts’ by offering incentives for grocery stores to offer healthy foods. The initiative encourages job creation in rural and urban neighborhoods in addition to reducing the risk of chronic disease that their residents face in absence of healthy options. This was a local initiative that grew into federal law. What sorts of food initiatives do you know of that have had (or have the potential to have) positive impact on US food systems on a national scale?
Resources from Prevention Institute
The purpose of this Prevention Institute study was to determine whether indications of fruit on the packaging of the most heavily marketed products to children represented actual fruit in the product.
“We’re Not Buying It,” exposes deceptive marketing to children, debunks industry claims, and highlights the latest research. When we put children first, the plan of action is clear: companies should market the foods that keep kids healthy, not junk food.
This report delineates opportunities to create synergy between health and sustainable agriculture to promote a sustainable healthy foood system.
A Prevention Institute publication: Setting the Record Straight: Nutrition and Health Professionals Define Healthful Food
This Prevention Institute paper outlines organizational practices and public policies to expand access to healthy foods in support of better health.
Claiming Health underscores that the current system—which counts on food companies to decide what information they include on their front-of-package labels—is broken.
The Commonwealth Club Food Matters program brought together women of color in San Francisco to speak about issues of inequity and race.
A recipient of the 2016 Food Sovereignty Prize from Ethiopia shares his insights on food and farming in the U.S., threats to smallholder farmers in Africa, and communicating across ideological differences.
The Doe Fund housing and job training program in New York City expands its food-related opportunities. Their work fuels the effort to help homeless men achieve self-sufficiency and escape cycles of homelessness, crime, and addiction.
*** For up-to-date news on food, see Prevention Institute’s Weekly Media Digest posts in the Prevention Institute Blog ***
Public Health Advocates promotes health and eliminate health disparities by transforming neighborhoods into places that nurture well-being.
California Food Policy Advocates is a statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a consumer advocacy organization whose twin missions are to conduct innovative research and advocacy programs in health and nutrition, and to provide consumers with current, useful information about their health and well-being.
The Food Chain Workers Alliance is a coalition of worker-based organizations whose members plant, harvest, process, pack, transport, prepare, serve, and sell food, organizing to improve wages and working conditions for all workers along the food chain.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
Wholesome Wave empowers under-served consumers to make healthier food choices by increasing affordable access to fresh, local, and regional food.