HEAL Platform for Real Food

A 2007 study by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation found it is almost impossible for the typical American to eat a meal without one hidden cost or another – whether those costs be to our health, to the environment, or to farmers, fishers, and workers. We are faced not just with an absence of information, but a blizzard of confusing and misleading information. Indeed, many food companies actually benefit from this confusion; they can market new products according to the latest health fad. For example, a recent Oceana report found that around 30% of all seafood in the US is being mislabeled. We need a food system that replaces deliberate confusion with deep knowledge, and in which clear, accessible, and accurate information gives all people the power to make effective decisions about what we eat and how our food economy should be structured.

Nutrition and health care professionals play a key role in shaping the “food literacy” of our public, and schools play a special role in shaping the tastes and “food literacy” of the next generation. We envision gardens and good, healthy food in every single school building, but understand that there are other critical levers to pull as well. These range from a strong labeling system to knowing who gets how much profit in the industry to protecting the ability of people to investigate wrongdoing. We have a right to know what’s in our food! And we want more people of all ages to have direct experience with farming, fishing, ranching, and food production.

Our Solutions

  • When developing the dietary guidelines, incorporate environmental sustainability as well as nutrition
  • Require labels that identify key qualities of retail and quick service restaurant food and beverage items on-package and at point-of-sale Require visible warning labels for harmful food and beverage products
  • Bring transparency to the politics behind the food economy, including corporate donations
  • Bring transparency to industrial agriculture production, including emissions, pesticide and fertilizer use, mandatory checkoff programs, and crop insurance
  • Require transparency in the seafood supply chain, from catching to processing and transportation
  • End the undue influence that corporations have over public research
  • Meet the full demand for farm/boat to school funding and extend the program’s reach to public schools, hospitals, prisons, tribal schools, and to include traditional foods and marginalized farmers, fishers, and ranchers