251689 Policy issues related to healthy food access and sustainable local food systems

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:24 AM

Alice Ammerman, DrPH, RD , Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Increasing interest in local food has resulted in part from environmental, public health, and animal welfare concerns as well as a desire to protect the culture and economy of rural communities. Growing evidence suggests that exposure to gardening and agricultural production, such as through farmers markets, can have positive effects on food and nutrition attitudes as well as behaviors. Food and agricultural policy has traditionally focused on larger scale farm operations which may not be relevant for local, sustainable food systems. We will discuss examples related to food safety, where concerns stemming from recent large scale food borne illness outbreaks have resulted in policy proposals and legislative actions that have creating significant implementation challenges for smaller scale producers and for consumers. These policies include Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification to regulate food safety practices on farms. In addition, food safety concerns have resulted in school policies that limit the use of both salad bars and the consumption of school garden foods in school cafeterias. Concerns about liability are often the most significant factor in this case. We will present research strategies to further understand formal and informal food safety policy in terms of both important health protections as well as potential barriers to facilitating increased access to and consumption of healthy foods.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define policy approaches that facilitate increased access to healthy food through sustainable local food systems.

Keywords: Food Safety, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have obtained grants conducted research and written articles on this topic
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.