Online Program

Intersections among local, state, and federal food and farm policy: Cultivating the environment for policy change that supports public health

Monday, November 4, 2013: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The political gridlock in Washington over the past few years has meant more and more efforts to improve public health policy need to be made at the local and state level. Such efforts can influence federal policy action, as well as increase community engagement in these important issues. This is especially true when it comes to food and farm policy. The production of food in the U.S., coupled with food access, has myriad human and environmental health impacts. Not only does our food system shape the obesity epidemic and other diet-related diseases, but there are also other environment and health consequences resulting from forgone conservation practices in much of American production agriculture. This session will provide specific, replicable examples of how policy action at the local, state, and federal levels can support human and environmental health by improving the nation's food system. Many cities across the country are engaging in such efforts. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has even started a food policy task force. Their work is inspired by the impacts of diet-related diseases on their constituents, as well as the farming practices that impact the air and water quality in their communities. Increasing opportunities for policy change are emerging at the state level and many advocates believe such efforts are the clearest path forward. Moving to the federal level, advocacy organizations are pushing for a greater emphasis on the environmental impacts of food and agriculture policy via the Farm Bill, the largest piece of legislation impacting what food we eat, how it is produced, and who profits from the system. This session will not only describe specific activities at each of these policy levels, but will also illuminate the connections between these and the efforts at the other levels. As those who work to improve the environment have long known, we live and operate within a system. Action at one point has effects across the system. This understanding is essential to shifting food and agriculture policy to support human and environmental health.
Session Objectives: Describe current synergies among efforts around local, state, and federal food and farm policy Explain why policy action is needed at local, state, and federal levels to shift these policies to support human and environmental health Evaluate which topics should be addressed at which level (local, state, federal) to best support human and environmental health Identify gaps in current policy advocacy that could be strengthened at any level

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Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Food and Nutrition, Law, Medical Care

See more of: Environment