Let’s Re-imagine Food and Health in America
CHICKENS ARE SUPREME...
Nathan Yau has created a lasting, if not “searing” image of how much Americans have eaten over the years. The data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Annual Consumption Report rings the public health alarm. It’s hard to grasp how much animal protein Americans are consuming every year.
Chicken is supreme with Americans eating 55 pounds per year plus 42 pounds of beef and 33 pounds of pork each year. Plant-based proteins or meat alternatives have a stiff hill to climb to make a dent in improving the health of Americans’ diets. See for yourself…
CONNECTING CONSUMERS TO FOOD AS MEDICINE
IS ONE STEP CLOSER
Last year the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched its 2020-2030 Strategic Plan for NIH Nutrition Research. The plan called for more personalized nutrition advice. Consumers need help in deciding what, when, why, and how to eat for optimal health and quality of life. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics developed a new framework for in-store dietitians to help shoppers. The framework promotes health and well-being, chronic disease management, and improves food and nutrition security.
Today 6 in 10 Americans have at least one chronic disease and 4 in 10 report two or more chronic diseases caused by poor diet. In-store nutrition and well-being information can help shoppers make healthier food choices and change eating behaviors. This can help save lives and reduce annual health expenditures by billions of dollars. The new framework will help Americans make healthier choices right in the store.
USDA INVESTS $4 BILLION IN “BUILD BACK BETTER” PLAN
TO STRENGTHEN FOOD SUPPLY
The USDA announced that it will invest $4 Billion as part of the “Build Back Better” program to improve the food supply. Building on lessons learned during the pandemic with millions of Americans going hungry and a major disruption of the food supply, USDA will invest in improving the food supply chain, supporting local growers, and improving food distribution to underserved communities.
The goal is to rebuild the food system to ensure it’s fair, competitive, distributed, and resilient. Rethinking the food system means that it needs to support health, protect the environment, and provide a fair return to farmers.
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE HELPS HEAL THE PLANET
In April 2021, President Biden recommitted the United States to the Paris Agreement. The goal is to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad by reaching net zero emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050. This includes a new target to reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Pollution by 50-52 percent from 2005 levels in 2030.
Canada’s National Newspaper, The Globe and Mail, hosted an event recently on Regenerative Agriculture. They invited a range of speakers from the CEO of McCain Foods to farmers using regenerative agricultural practices and a senior executive from Regenerate Canada. The group struggled to define the difference between organic, sustainable and regenerative agriculture?”
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines organic as, “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”
“Organic” is a certified standard but “sustainable” and “regenerative” agriculture are not. This leaves room for (mis)interpretation, unstandardized practices and labeling with possible misinformation to consumers. “Sustainable” means to maintain and not deplete the natural resources on which it relies on for growth. “Regenerative” means to add back to the land by improving the soil health for today and the future.
Regenerative Agriculture will be more important in the food and beverage industry for tackling climate change. The Kellogg Company is one such company that is setting tough goals with its established Kellogg’s Origins Program. Its program reached an important milestone. Kellogg’s is working with 440,000 farmers in 29 countries to promote climate, social and financial resiliency and restore agricultural ecosystems in its key growing regions. Kellogg’s hopes that working with farmers to boost productivity while delivering benefits to people and the planet will become the new norm. The goal is to collaborate with 1 million farmers and workers by the end of 2030.
FOOD FOR HEALTH MATTERS NOW
Check out Why Food For Health Matters Now– a position paper which outlines a Four-Point Plan for the Biden-Harris Administration to solve nutrition insecurity, obesity and chronic disease in the U.S. through innovative partnerships and bold, systems-level change. Click on the link below –let’s start a conversation.