A. According to the Michigan Good Food Charter, good food means food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable. In this context, healthy food is defined as food that provides nourishment and enables people to thrive; green food was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable; fair means that no one along the production line was exploited during its creation; and, affordable means that all people have access to it. Many think of good food as primarily fruits and vegetables, but it also includes meat, dairy and grains. And while good food is nutrient dense it is also tasty and visually appealing.
Food justice seeks to ensure that the benefits and risks of where, what, and how food is grown, produced, transported, distributed, accessed and eaten are shared fairly. Food justice represents a transformation of the current food system, including but not limited to eliminating disparities and inequities.Food advocates may work on several different issue areas, but share the common goal of challenging the injustices that exist throughout the dominant industrial and increasingly globalized food system. By striving to alleviate these injustices in the entire food system, the Food Justice movement is linked to and supports allied movements such as those related to the environment, land use, health, immigration, worker rights, economic and community development, cultural integrity, and social justice.
High tunnels – novel process and new technology is being developed. Traditional food ways are meeting new technology.
Any economic effort is comprised of a sequential set of activities that adds value to the inputs of an enterprise toward the creation of an output. This includes a series of organizations, resources, knowledge streams and delivery of value to end customers. The value chain includes the inputs and the logistics of the delivery of those inputs, the operations, the outbound logistics, marketing and sales, and service. The goal of these activities is to create value that exceeds the cost of providing the product or service generating a profit margin. At any point in this value chain, savings or efficiencies may provide a competitive advantage for the product.The local foods value chain may add value through a concentration on the triple bottom line values of economic, social, and ecological sustainability of the system.
Though “local” has a geographic connotation, there is no consensus on a definition in terms of the distance between production and consumption. Definitions related to geographic distance between production and sales vary by regions, companies, consumers, and local food markets. According to the definition adopted by the U.S. Congress in the 2008 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act, the total distance that a product can be transported and still be considered a “locally or regionally produced agricultural food product” is less than 400 miles from its origin, or within the State in which it is produced. Definitions based on market arrangements, including direct-to-consumer arrangements such as regional farmers’ markets, or direct-to-retail/foodservice arrangements such as farm sales to schools, are well-recognized categories and are used in this report to provide statistics on the market development of local foods. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, May 2010, “Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts and Issues.”
Roughly 65 percent of adults and nearly 30 percent of youth in grades 9-12 are overweight or obese. The prevalence of diabetes, a diet-related disease, is more than twice as high among blacks, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives and 70 percent higher among Hispanics than among whites.The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that some of the most common chronic diseases are diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and arthritis and account for 70% of the deaths (1.7 million) in the United States each year. These diseases are preventable, expensive and are some of the most common health problems in the U.S.According to the CDC website the following statistics illustrate the severity of chronic diseases:•7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.•In 2005, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – had at least one chronic illness.•Obesity has become a major health concern. One in every three adults is obese and almost one in five youth between the ages of 6 and 19 is obese (BMI greater than or equal to the 95th percentile of the CDC growth chart).•About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.•Diabetes continues to be the leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-extremity amputations, and blindness among adults, aged 20-74.
The opportunity to offer Michigan grown food in schools, hospitals and institution cafeterias is considerable given the diversity of fruits and vegetables grown in the state is second only to California. Couple the diversity of produce grown in Michigan with the season extending technologies and the availability and variety of locally grown produce is sizable. The Michigan Farm to Institution momentum is growing with increasing interest, economic advantages and nutritional benefits. The number of farm to school partnerships more than tripled between 2004 and 2009. According to the MSU C.S. Mott Group’s Farm to School Outreach Specialist Colleen Matts, 11% of the 2004 Michigan school food service directors reported purchasing food from a local farmer or producer. In 2009 that number rose to 41%. A variety of positive initiatives exist that focus on bringing locally grown foods into Michigan cafeterias. Some schools integrate produce grown in their school garden into their food service program. Often times the school program sees a marked benefit in reduced food service costs when using school grown food. Farm to Institution programs link directly to a farmer in the community and utilize food grown on the farm in the cafeteria. An increase in food variety and target needs of food service programs becomes possible through Farm to Institution. In a 2009 survey conducted by the MSU C.S. Mott Group, supporting Michigan farms and businesses, supporting the local economy and higher quality food were the motivating factors for being involved in the Farm to School program. The Michigan Farm to School initiative provides many resources and guides for school food service programs. The community also benefits from the dollars spent on the food staying and being used in the community. When money stays in the community and in the local economy, it multiplies 2-4 times through supporting other local businesses and local tax base. In a 2008 study in Kent County Michigan, a 10% shift in consumer spending had the potential of $140 million in new economic activity, 1,600 new jobs and $50 million in new wages. When West Michigan consumers chose local businesses, $73 of every $100 spent stayed in the community, according to the Civic Economics research firm.Typically food grown locally is picked at its peak of ripeness and served shortly thereafter. The produce is able to reach its maximum potential nutritionally and in flavor. The Michigan Farm to School initiative provides a guiding reference for institutions interested in using Michigan produce on their menus. The Putting Michigan Produce on Your Menuguide gives purchase and use equivalencies, storage tips and availability dates. Michigan Farm to Institution can reap both economic and nutritional benefits for the state. The interest and momentum is there. Michigan can reach the Michigan Good Food Charter goal that all Michigan institutions purchase 20% of their food from local growers, producers and processors by 2020.
September 2012 with speaker notes
Understanding Community FoodSystemsA presentation of the Community Food Systems team ofMichigan State University Extension’sGreening Michigan Institute
Outline• What is Good Food?• Sustainability and the triple bottom line• What makes up a community food system?• How does the food system benefit a community?• How can the local food system be enhanced?• What actions can you take to help change occur?
What is Good Food?Good Food is:Healthy – It provides nourishment andenables people to thrive
What is Good Food?Good___ __is:___ FoodGreen – It was produced in a manner thatis environmentally sustainable
What is Good Food?Good Food is:Fair – no one along the production linewas exploited for its creation
What is Good Food?Good Food is:Affordable – All people have access to it
A sustainable community food systemintegrates food production, processing,distribution, consumption and wastemanagement in order to enhance thevitality of a community.
Benefits to the community Environmental Stewardship
Benefits to the community Farmland Preservation
All of the sectors working together provides multiple benefits to communities
“We envision a thriving economy, equity and sustainability for all of Michigan and its people through a food system rootedin local communities and centered on good food.”-Vision of the Good Food Charter
Updates on progress toward goals Connection with statewide network Copies of reports and publicationsFind Michigan Good Food Charter at: www.michigangoodfood.org
A sustainable community food systemenhances the environmental,economic and social health of acommunity (sometimes called a triplebottom line).
Triple Economic Social & CulturalBottom Prosperity VibrancyLine Profit People Economy Society Environmental & Ecological Integrity Planet Environment
Let’s explore some strategies that can strengthen theeconomic impact of a community food system:• Farmers markets• Season extension technology• Increased local food production• Development of local food systems jobs
Negative Nancy: “Eating local can’t be done in Michigan during the winter months. My farmers markets isn’t even open all year long! Am I supposed to NOT eat bananas and coffee?”
High tunnels or hoop houses have the potential to create profitability for farmers to produce year round.
New technology– like aquaponics – can create sustainable food system opportunities.This process combines growing vegetables with raising fish in systems that cycle nutrients for the benefit of both.
You can make a difference…..• Eating Seasonally - adjust your purchasing habits. Buy local strawberries in July. Preserve some so that you don’t need to buy expensive imported berries in February.
You can make a difference…..• Buy local foods that are grown in hoop houses – spinach and other leafy greens are being grown 10 – 11 months of the year in Michigan hoop houses. Yes, you’ll still need to buy imported bananas and coffee at all times of the year since these aren’t produced in Michigan.
The Union ofConcernedScientistsestimates thatmore than 13,500jobs could becreated byimproving localfoodinfrastructure.
How are jobs created?—the auto industry as an analogy : Someone makes the parts and assembles the car Someone sells the car Someone maintain cars Someone builds and maintains the infrastructure to serve vehicles (highways, gas stations, etc.) Someone provides financing and insurance Many businesses grew to serve automobiles
In the same fashion, a food system creates jobs:• Someone grows food• Someone sells seeds, tools, implements• Someone transports and distributes food• Someone adds value to food (packs, bakes, processes)• Someone sells food in stores, markets and restaurants• Someone collects waste and possibly recycles it
The Local Food Economy1) Good Money – Increase the Good money increases when products are exported and when amount of money coming into outsiders visit and spend. the community2) Neutral Money – Increase the velocity of money circulated in the region among local businesses3) Bad Money – Reduce income leaving the community via outside purchases Local Food Economy Bad money is reduced when locals spend more at home. Neutral money speeds up with business to business tradeAdapted from the work of Ed Morrison & David Morganthaler
Negative Nancy: “Local farmers can’t produce enough to meet the demand from food processors except for certain things during the season! And it would be too expensive for all those small farms to scale up to meet demand!”
Food Hubs can be developed to overcome the problems ofaggregation to meet demand.
Regional Food HubsAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, aregional food hub is a business or organization thatactively manages the aggregation, distribution, andmarketing of source-identified food products primarilyfrom local and regional producers to strengthen theirability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutionaldemand.
From small local farms food is aggregated at the food hub for purchasers like schools, hospitals, large food businesses, prisons, universities, senior living facilities and many othersFOODHUB
Health care costsare increasing fortreatment ofpreventablechronic diseases,such as AdultOnset (Type 2)Diabetes,impactingproductivity andprofits.
1 in 6 Americansare food insecuremeaning they donot know wheretheir next meal iscoming from – 1 in4 children are foodinsecure.
Negative Nancy: “Kids won’t eat healthy food for lunch. And the food doesn’t have to come from local farms to be healthy.”
Across the country, manyschools have been successfulin buying local foods andencouraging kids to eat them!Many are engaging theirstudents in growing food inschool gardens.
The Grocery Store Food The Local Food SystemSystem • Connects us more directly• Keeps cash-register prices with our food low • Connects us to the people• Provides a diverse food who grow our food supply • Keeps $ closer to home
How can people help make a change? • Grow your own garden; • Educate your kids about what they eat and where food comes from; • Shop at a farmers market or buy directly from a farmer; • Spend your food dollars locally whenever possible; • Attend farm or community garden tours and open houses, join a local food council or food co-op; and • Read labels – country of origin stickers are now required on packaged, fresh produce.