Food – how it is produced, processed, distributed, consumed, and recycled is a dominant social determinant of health for a community.
The National Institutes of Health predict that by mid-century one of every 3 Americans will have diabetes. Obesity, cardiovascular disease, lost productivity and even diminished IQ are linked to poor nutrition. Low income families, especially children and the elderly, are at greatest risk. Education, healthcare and social costs, and quality of life suffer as a result.
What’s the problem in Marin?
Too often, good food is unaffordable, unavailable, or culturally inappropriate. How and where to prepare food can be challenging. Often, the easiest, fastest, and cheapest response to hunger is processed, packaged, and laden with sugars, salts, fats and additives. Healthy food is an obvious solution multiplier. A simple change in diet can dramatically slow global warming. A child nurtured on nutrient-dense food is positioned to succeed in school and society. Access to healthy food for low-income families, in no small measure, ensures social justice for all. A healthy, vibrant, ecologically sustainable food system serving the needs of all sets the foundation for a fit and vigorous community, and fosters lasting solutions across our physical and social environment.
What it is
The Marin County Food System Assessment is a collaborative and participatory process examining community food issues and assets so as to inform change actions to make the community healthier. The assessment allows us to take a 30,000 foot view of our failing modern food system. The key to transforming that system will be the project¹s capacity to engage and inspire the residents of Marin and their respective groups. By emphasizing participatory research that directly generates change action, the Food Assessment project facilitates community participation in and control of our food system. Focusing on the under-served, the Marin Food System Assessment Project intends to identify new strategies, collaborations and policies that will promote a healthier, safer, more resilient, and more equitable community. Your participation is essential In order to make long-lasting global changes required in Marin to ensure access to healthy foods for all, individuals and organizations working to create a healthy future need to coordinate their efforts within a well-informed over-arching framework. That framework is conspicuously absent in Marin and this project seeks to address that condition.
The Food System Assessment Team invites individuals and organizations to come forward and participate in the process. Together we can generate the critical mass to ignite lasting change. The Marin Food System Assessment in the final analysis is truly of, by and for the community. The project invites people to work together in order to exercise greater sovereignty over our own food system.