Why Food For Health Matters — May 2021

May 21, 2021

Inaugural Issue – Let’s Re-imagine Food and Health in America

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WELCOME…

To the inaugural issue of Food For Health Matters.  I’m Laurie Curry Copithorne and I launched my strategic consulting company during the pandemic to lend leadership and a voice to fixing America’s food system.  My goal is to create a space to share ideas, optimism, urgency, expertise, and collaboration for an approved food system.

I’ve authored 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.

TOSS OUT THE SWOT ANALYSIS

Professor Roger L. Martin, writer and strategy advisor was named the #1 management thinker in the world.  He is also former Dean of the Rotman School and recommends tossing out the SWOT Analysis.   Roger notes that, “SWOT was created in the early days of strategy when early practitioners were desperate for tools. But it has become a monstrous time-sink with little or no compensating value. It needs to be relegated to the ashbin of strategy history.”

Martin believes strategists should generate a clearly held hypothesis on the problem that needs to be solved then mine the data to identify the strategic solution(s).  

DOUBLE PYRAMID BALANCES HEALTH & CLIMATE

The Barilla Foundation has devised a new way of bringing together food, health, and the climate, called the Double Pyramid.  It’s a clever way of looking side-by-side to make food choices that are healthy and balanced for consumers and the planet.  

The Health Pyramid arranges foods into 18 food groups and seven layers according to recommended frequency of consumption for people’s health.  So, the foods at the bottom should be eaten more often:  fruits, vegetables and whole grains with processed meat being at the top, suggesting it should be eaten less often.  

The Climate Pyramid is flipped upside down showing how processed meat has the biggest impact on the environment and fruits and vegetables the lowest carbon footprint.  The healthier foods generally have a lower carbon footprint.

HOW THE PANDEMIC REFRAMED 
FOOD INSECURITY TO NUTRITION SECURITY

The pandemic has shone the light on the double burden of hunger and obesity with the commonality being malnutrition.  Typically, public health professionals have referred to this as food insecurity or the lack of access to sufficient food. It’s not enough to consider just the ‘calorie count’ of foods anymore.  We need to focus on ‘calories that count’ from a nutrition standpoint.  This is nutrition security  — consuming enough nutrient-rich whole foods that provide enough nutrients for a healthy diet.  

Inadequate nutrition is leading to higher rates of chronic diseases in the U.S. with 6 in 10 Americans reporting a chronic disease and 4 in 10 having 2 or more chronic diseases.  This means more Americans are sick than well.  USDA Secretary, Tom Vilsack, is to be applauded for shifting the dialogue and hunger relief efforts to nutrition security.  The Farmers to Families Food Box program winds up later this month, having served over 155 million nutritious food boxes this past year.  

The Administrations’ relief program has led to a 43% drop in hunger.  And now, the proposed American Families’ Plan is taking steps to make these gains permanent.  The Biden-Harris Administration is investing $45 billion to improve nutrition security by making the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) permanent, expand healthy school meals for children and provide incentives to increase nutritious meals at school.  

FORCE FOR GOOD

Chef Daniel Humm has penned a moving letter to New Yorkers as the lead up to his reopening Eleven Madison Park, a luxury restaurant in New York City, on June 10, 2021.  In it Chef Humm tells of the remarkable journey of him and his limited staff (due to the pandemic) feeding over 1 million meals to New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic.  

Upon reopening the restaurant, they plan to continue to give back by providing 5 meals to food insecure New Yorkers for every meal purchased.  They will also be moving to a 100% plant-based menu as a way of giving back to the planet.

     

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You could say I know a thing or two about food, nutrition, health and future trends and issues. I understand each stakeholder’s perspective and I am uniquely positioned to be able to help you understand what to do next.

Want to work together to improve nutrition and health for all Americans?