Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Availability of Local Food Key to Improving Food Security, MU Expert Says

10.05.2011
Most strategies to assist the hungry, including food banks and providing food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are short-term, emergency solutions.

Those who rely on these programs face daily shortages of fresh and healthy foods, which lead to poor diet choices, nutritional deficiencies and health problems. An expert at the University of Missouri says the production of sustainable, locally grown foods is key to providing long-term food security for communities.

Michelle Kaiser, a public health researcher, says that access to fresh, healthy foods is a human right. Increasing availability of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, will benefit the health of the environment and the people consuming it.

“We have to recognize that access to food is a human right,” says Michelle Kaiser, researcher in the School of Social Work in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “People should be able to get healthy food consistently; access to healthy food will benefit the health of the environment and the people consuming it.”

Healthy, affordable food availability is an issue in urban areas, as well as rural areas, Kaiser says.

“People don’t think of rural areas as places without healthy foods,” Kaiser says. “However, many people live miles from the nearest store, and this makes them less likely to buy fresh, perishable foods because they buy groceries less often. In urban areas, many people buy their food from restaurants or convenience stores, where nutritious food is scarce. Even if there is a nearby grocery store, many people don’t have access to reliable transportation to those stores.”

Local food production reduces the economic and environmental impact of transporting food. Increasing the availability of whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables, enables people to avoid processed, unhealthy foods. Kaiser describes a few strategies that policy makers and individuals can use to improve access to local, healthy food:

Farmers that sponsor community supported agriculture (CSA) programs ask consumers to purchase shares of their harvests prior to the growing season. Each week, consumers receive portions of seasonal fruits, vegetables, meat and eggs. A challenge to CSAs is that governmental assistance is not available; consumers directly purchase shares of the harvest rather than food.

Farmers’ markets have been a staple of the American food system since the 1970s. The markets bring locally grown crops to people that might otherwise have difficulty finding fresh, healthy food. Many farmers’ markets accept food stamps as payments.

Community and personal gardens can be planted anywhere from rooftops to apartment complexes. Kaiser says gardens bring people closer to their food and their neighbors. Gardens are increasingly being used by schools as educational tools. To increase the number of community gardens, policy makers should incentivize businesses to convert empty lots into gardens.

Community food assessments (CFA) are tools to define food-related issues including availability of fresh food, prices of foods, transportation to stores and more. Policy makers and local coalitions can use CFAs to better understand how to improve their community’s food situation.

Kaiser recently published a study on food security in the Journal of Community Practice.

Emily Martin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

Further reports about: Availability CFA CSA Food Chain Plus Security Forum policy makers rural areas urban areas

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers

17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Antibiotic effective against drug-resistant bacteria in pediatric skin infections

17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>