October 18, 2010

Almost 300 attend Food for Health Forum

We took a journey together from looking at the effects of organophosphate pesticide exposure on the children of farm workers in the Salinas Valley to an organic farm in the Capay Valley. We learned that a huge food distributor can aggregate and deliver what we ask for. If we create the demand for good fresh food, the systems are in place to bring it to us. We heard about the amazing progress being made at hospital systems around the country in bringing sustainably produced foods into health care. Mollie Katzen, well known cookbook author, taught us hands on knife skills and kitchen basics and also inspired us to cook more ourselves. Turns out most of our grandparents and great grandparents would be considered "foodies" today in that they cooked wonderful food from scratch. We also learned about the challenges of food access for many of our communities in the midst of all the abundance. Michael Pollan closed and challenged those of us in health care to work at the national policy and community level to make it possible for everyone to "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

We have to find ways to reach everyone where they are. If you eat very few fruits and veggies (only 15% of the population eats five servings a day), eat more and buy organic when you can. Once you learn good kitchen knife skills and cook a little more at home, you can parlay the savings into purchasing even more organic foods. Ultimately that's the food that is best for all --- for you, your family, the environment, and the people who grow it.