Access to Healthy Food Improves Health and Brings Economic Benefits
From Huffington Post:
Access to healthy food can bring triple bottom-line benefits to communities — better health, new jobs, and a revitalized economy. But nearly 30 million Americans still live in low-income areas with limited access to supermarkets. The problem is particularly acute in low-income communities of color.
The good news is Congress took steps to expand access to healthy food last week, including a$125 million authorization for the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) in the nearly $1 trillion farm bill. To improve access, the program invests in the development and expansion of food retail businesses and food hubs that in return can bring much-needed jobs and spur economic revitalization in low-income neighborhoods.
Text above from Huffington Post, written by leadership from The Food Trust, PolicyLink, and the Reinvestment Fund. Read the full article here, which includes more details about the research and HFFI.
Photo above from Fairway in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Photo taken October, 2013.
introducing no more ramen, a blog full of recipes for folks with little time and even less money! the aim of this blog is to provide a safe and easy to navigate space for folks looking to eat well without a lot of energy or money. we hope to especially provide support for people dealing with chronic health issues and dietary restrictions.
we happily accept submissions, and additionally hope to provide a place for folks to discuss how ableism, classism, and privilege in general tie into the foods we eat. please signal boost and help us get up and running! <3
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When a passionate vegan says that people in poverty should all be vegans, because buying fresh vegetables and cooking from scratch is so much cheaper, it might initially make sense. Grabbing a handful of potatoes, carrots and onions in a local market could be the basis of several hearty meals for less than the price of a single takeaway or shop-bought sandwich. But, as ever, things are not that simple. That scenario assumes that:
- a person has a market nearby
- there is accessible parking at, or accessible public transport to, the market
- the market itself is physically accessible
- a person is safe to peel, chop and cook food
- a person understands how to peel, chop and cook food
- a person has pans, a stove and a wooden spoon
- a person has enough credit left in their electricity meter to cook a meal.
In one of the most depressing news stories of 2013, clients of British food banks were reported to be “giving back food items that need cooking because they can’t afford to turn on the electricity”
"When you buy cheap food, the real costs have been externalized,” Pollan continued. “Those externalized costs have always included labor. It is only the decline over time of the minimum wage in real dollars that’s made the fast food industry possible, along with feedlot agriculture, pharmaceuticals on the farm, pesticides and regulatory forbearance. All these things are part of the answer to the question: Why is that crap so cheap? Our food is dishonestly priced. One of the ways in which it’s dishonestly priced is the fact that people are not paid a living wage to process it, to serve it, to grow it, to slaughter it."
Michael Pollan, “Our Food Is Dishonestly Priced”: Michael Pollan on the Food Movement’s Next Goal of Justice for Food Workers”
Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry
Rising star chef and food activist Bryant Terry is known for his simple, creative, and delicious vegan dishes inspired by African American cooking. In this landmark cookbook, he remixes foods of the African diaspora to create exciting and approachable recipes such as Corn Maque Choux-Stuffed Jamaican Patties with Hot Pepper Sauce, Berebere-Spiced Black-Eyed Pea Sliders, Crispy Teff-Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts, and Groundnut Stew with Winter Vegetables and Cornmeal Dumplings. He also explores key African ingredients that are popular in Caribbean and Southern dishes—like okra—tracing their history and giving them cultural context. Afro-Vegan will delight Bryant Terry fans; vegans looking for exciting new recipes; cooks interested in African, Afro-Caribbean, and Southern cuisine; and health- and eco-conscious eaters.
Read his interview here
"I would hear this again and again from that point on. I’m Vietnamese? They love pho! I told people to pronounce it a different way each time they asked, knowing that they would immediately march over to their racially homogenous group of friends to correct them with the “authentic” way to pronounce their favorite dish. I’m sure that they were happy to learn a little bit about my family’s culture, but I found their motivations for doing so suspect. What can one say in response? ‘Oh, you’re white? I love tuna salad!’ It sounds ridiculous, mostly because no one cares if a second-generation immigrant likes American food. Rather, the burden of fluency with American culture puts a unique pressure on the immigrant kid."
INFOGRAPHIC: Who are Tipped Workers? (Scribd link)
Restaurants are a huge part of American food systems, and many workers within that industry live off of something called the “tipped minimum wage,” a wage that is set at lower levels than the regular minimum wage due to the assumption that tips supplement it. Despite this assumption, many tipped workers live on low wages, and sometimes even in poverty. Raising the tipped minimum wage could go a long way to change this, and boost the economy in the meantime.
Read more at Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC United)
Discovered via Community Food & Justice Coalition on Tumblr
Sodium is also particularly thorny because it’s costly and difficult to remove from certain foods without consumers turning up their noses.
There’s a chance that the FDA could address sodium as part of its nutrition facts overhaul, but the agency is likely to unveil a separate policy that targets sodium with the aim of reducing sodium intake — similar to the logic used in reducing trans fat consumption.
How will multinational conglomerates make money if they have to take HEALTH into account? Damn.