Food Activists Revolutionize the Way We Eat: Part 1
As part of First 5 LA’s Eat Healthy, Grow Strong public education campaign, we’re putting the spotlight on organizations that are working in communities to increase access to healthier foods. By partnering with communities at the grassroots level, they’re hoping to make long-term changes in the way people think about, buy and eat food.
Despite what you may have heard from food advertisers, all foods are not created equal. Some are rich in vitamins and nutrients as nature intended them, while others have been heavily processed with additives and preservatives and disguised as ‘healthy foods.’
Anger over so many of our foods being processed with lots of additives have inspired a growing number of individuals and organizations to revolutionize the way we eat and where we get our food. These ‘food activists’ point out that because food must travel greater distances to reach households, it results in lost nutrition and added preservatives. Also, food transport and an agricultural system that regularly uses pesticides are harmful to the environment, the community, and our overall health.
Food activists have been involved with:
- Leading the discussion on the importance of sustainable, earth and people-friendly networks that provide healthy food for everyone. They have promoted sustainable farming practices like organic and local farming; created opportunities for healthy foods to reach new people; and protected farm workers from exploitation.
- Creating awareness and giving consumers opportunities to get closer to their food by participating in community gardens, supporting local farmers markets, and encouraging restaurants and markets to buy their food locally.
- Changing policies and minds about the way we eat by supporting organizations that promote healthier food networks.
Many food activists target communities with high numbers of subsidized school lunches and poor access to fresh produce. In addition, these organizations are working to dispel rumors that healthy food is inconvenient, expensive, and time-consuming to prepare. While it won’t be easy to get people to care about where their food comes from or change their eating habits, these organizations are committed to affecting change, no matter how long it takes. Because not all foods are created equal.
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