As Michiganders, we are lucky to have a Michigan Good Food Charter. In 2009, many organizations, businesses, institutions, advocates, and eaters came together to coordinate a process of developing specific goals for Michigan’s food system that promote equity, sustainability, and a thriving economy across the state. Initial recommendations provided by five work were presented at a statewide summit held in 2010 and following revisions, the Michigan Good Food Charter Vision and Goals were released in June that year.
Since then, feedback has been gathered through bi-annual summits, progress and stories are shared through the Charter website and newsletters and organizations, like Ecology Center, have taken the goals and strategies to the next level. This example is seen through our leadership in launching and co-coordinating the Michigan Farm to Institution Network, and its local food purchasing campaign Cultivate Michigan, with the Center for Regional Food Systems in April 2014.
Through this Charter, ‘We envision a thriving economy, equity, and sustainability for all of Michigan and its people through a food system rooted in local communities and centered on good food.’
Healthy - It provides nourishment and enables people to thrive
Green - It was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable
Fair - No one along the supply chain was exploited for its creation
Affordable - All people have access to it
The healthcare sector bears the burden of treating diseases associated with a broken food system. Obesity, diabetes, malnutrition, heart diseases, childhood cancer and other chronic diseases along with public health threats such as antibiotic resistance, air and water pollution, and climate change with impacts such as drought and severe weather that threaten our ability to grow food in addition to direct human health consequences - these are the costly consequences of a food system that favors nutritionally poor processed foods and relies on heavy use of antibiotics, pesticides and other chemicals. Upstream solutions are needed to change this landscape. Health professionals are opinion leaders, trusted advisors and committed to promoting and protecting the health of individuals, families, and communities. As such, physicians, nurses, dietitians, public health practitioners and other healthcare professionals are well poised to deliver strong impactful messages about the health impacts of our food system and advocate for changes in institutional and public policies and practices to transform the food system.
Our program works to inform and activate a broad range of health professionals on food system and health issues; and develop strong leaders and advocates for a food system that promotes public and environmental health. We connect clinical and public health champions to scientific information, tools and resources; and provide opportunities and support for health professionals to advocate for healthy sustainable food systems in institutional and public policy settings.
Published on March 9, 2017