Fixing Our Broken Food System – The “Plate of the Union” Initiative

Last week the Union of Concerned Scientists released its latest report, “The Devastating Consequences of Unequal Food Access: The Role of Race and Income in Diabetes.” This is the first study to show that living near healthy food retailers is associated with lower diabetes rates across all U.S. counties. The impact on diabetes rates is even more pronounced in counties with above average populations of color, which is significant given that communities of color are disproportionately affected by this tragic and costly diet-related disease.Ricardo Salvador

Yesterday, Wednesday April 25th, Anya and Arthur Gordon, owners of Irregardless Cafe & Catering, traveled to NC A&T in Greensboro to hear first hand from Union of Concerned Scientist Ricardo Salavador about this sober and urgent situation.

The U.S. food system is out of balance—and it’s time our leaders started talking about it.  The Union of Concerned Scientists are promoting the “Plate of the Union” Initiative appealing to presidential hopefuls to ensure healthy, affordable, sustainable, food for all.  View their video message.

Supermarkets, convenience stores and fast-food outlets offer an endless supply of cheap processed junk foods. Meanwhile, fresh fruits and vegetables, and healthy prepared foods, are un-affordable for many Americans—and in many neighborhoods, hard to find.

Dr. Salvador is an agronomist who examines the origins of the industrialized food system, offering insights and analysis on how current structures regarding race contribute to the exploitation of labor and health disparities that exist among many poor people and people of color.

The Center for Environmental Food Systems, of which the Gordons’ are Board members, has been developing and promoting just and equitable food and farming systems that conserve natural resources, strengthen communities, improve health outcomes and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond.  They have nurtured the the newly formed Capital Area Food Network in Wake County, which is working actively to engage in and heal our local food system.