Online Program

True Cost Accounting in the Food System: A Tool for Health in all Policies?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
The world faces an ironic paradigm—currently, unsustainable farming methods are more profitable than sustainable farming methods. Epigenetic changes attributed to our current food system will have ripple effects into the future. The true costs of industrial food production are rarely reflected in the price at markets or retail outlets. But the cost, especially to the environment and health—of monoculture crops, concentrated animal feeding operations, overuse and misuse of agrochemicals, unfair wages, and other practices associated with conventional agriculture is high—and that needs to change. We need to find ways to place a clear monetary value on both the benefits and the costs of different food production systems to improve public health, protect the environment, increase nutrient density, and improve social welfare. This panel will bring together public health and environmental experts who are working to highlight the need for true cost accounting for eaters, farmers, businesses, and policy makers. It will update participants about current methods and research addressing this question and highlight policy applications of such accounting. From transportation to the dietary guidelines, conservation programs to built environments, the food system reaches across policy arenas. Knowing the true costs of our food system could be a strong tool for ensuring promotion of health in all policies.
Session Objectives: 1. Discuss environmental health costs of the food system 2. Explain human health impacts of the food system and related costs 3. Assess ways to measure the externalized costs of the food system 4. Describe policy options for internalizing the costs of the food system 5. Compare ways forward to help farmers, producers, businesses, and eaters understand the real costs of food production.

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Environment
Endorsed by: Food and Nutrition, Law, Public Health Education and Health Promotion, APHA-Committee on Women's Rights

See more of: Environment