Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Making Sense of Food Policy

"Food policy" was a new phrase to me when I joined the Grow Youngstown board a couple of years ago, and I have to admit that I'm still not entirely clear on the full range of what it might cover.  As MVOC organizer Tammy Thomas and Grow Youngstown director Elsa Higby explain on this week's show, the idea behind the new Mahoning Valley Food Policy Council is to identify existing regulations that get in the way of the production and distribution of locally-grown and healthy food and advocate for new policies that will make it easier for growers, distributors, and consumers to improve the quality of food available in our area.  That might involve everything from zoning to allow urban farms or backyard chicken coops to regulations governing the sales of small-scale locally-produced packaged foods.

You can find out more about this model by visiting the website of the North American Food Policy Council. Along with explaining how such councils work, it has a list of the more than 100 that exist around the US.  You can also read the charter of the Ohio Food Policy Advisory Council, created by Governor Ted Strickland in 2007.

Want to get involved?  Check out the MVOC's Health Equity campaign information or visit the Grow Youngstown website.

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