Food insecurity is a social determinant of health and is strongly associated with chronic disease. Poverty and low income are the single most influential social determinant of health. It has been estimated that social and economic circumstances account for 50% of all health outcomes, while health care accounts for 25%, genetics for 15% and the environment for 10% of all health outcomes. Food is connected to our environment, the economy and community. This is why we should say NO to skimping on nutrition. Hence, there are three ways that we can ensure that food security remains a priority for yourself and the community.
1. Food Access: You can access nutritious food through drop-in meals, a healthy food bank, and a neighbourhood farmers market (pursue buy local campaigns which support local farmers and increase opportunities for consumers to buy healthy, local foods).
Buy or pick fresh vegetables - apples, oranges, carrots, turnip, squash and cabbage. They are less expensive.
Frozen vegetables and fruit that are packaged in bags usually cost less than those that are fresh
2. Community Action and Public Education: Increasing civic engagement, providing advocacy training and food systems education for children and youth in schools and community centres.
The People’s Food Policy Project (which focuses food security and other food system issues) and raising awareness to national school food programs
3. Facilitate or initiate capacity building strategies in the community such as supporting community supported agriculture, community gardens, the Good Food Box initiative, and look into Health School Food Programs that increase students’ access to health food from local farmers.
Through these food initiatives it is possible for our community to work towards making sure that all Canadians can access a nutrionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system. Consider these tips and initiatives, and become active participants by making conscious decisions about sustainable food strategies to increase food security. There are numerous advantages to being healthy. Why not take a step, raise awareness and work towards a healthier you and the community?
For more detailed information Toward a Healthy, Affordable and Sustainable Food Strategy then feel free to access the links below:
Gail Poskitt graduated from McMaster University with a B.A in Sociology and Political Science. She is an all around go getter who currently lives in Toronto and, works for Fife House Foundation as a Social Service Worker. Gail has a passion for making a positive impact in people’s lives and working with individuals in the community to create meaningful change. She strives to lead a fun and healthy lifestyle by bring positivity to life’s challenges. Gail has a fond interest for travelling, culture, health & wellness and all things FOOD.