Many things can be done to improve America’s complex food systems in ways that align with public health and nutrition goals, according to a new report, “Healthy Nutrition: From Farm to Fork,” by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition.
[Photos: Ms. Jamie Bachaus (left) and Dr. Jennifer Otten]
The report was written by Ms. Jamie Bachaus, an MPH student in Nutritional Sciences, and Dr. Jennifer Otten, assistant professor of Health Services, in the University of Washington School of Public Health. The quarterly report is published by Elevate Health journal.
The authors, citing 104 references, provide a comprehensive look at how the industrialized food system affects our nutrition and health, from increased use of pesticides and antibiotics to highly processed foods that lose vitamins when grains are refined. The report notes several efforts underway to incorporate healthy food at worksites, schools and hospitals. It also points out incentive programs that promote access to fresh produce for low-income households.
Consumers can support a healthier system by eating seasonally and reducing food waste. “The notion that producing more food will make fewer people food-insecure is false,” Ms. Bachaus said. “We produce way more food than we need in America. The affordability of healthy food, and how much food we waste that could be feeding hungry people: Those are the real issues.”