Catalyzing Health Care Investment in Healthier Food Systems 

Health Care Without Harm is undertaking a national study of non-profit hospitals’ community benefit practices to improve healthy food access and reduce risk of diet-related disease.

In this three-year project, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Health Care Without Harm is conducting a national study of non-profit hospitals’ community benefit practices targeted to strengthening food system resilience and sustainability, improving physical and economic access to healthy foods, and promoting healthier dietary patterns and healthy body weight. Through a national survey, in-depth interviews, and case studies, the study will identify best hospital community benefit practices as well as model programs promoting sustainable and healthy food systems.

Survey invitations will be sent to a random sample of tax-exempt hospitals to learn about how hospitals include food insecurity, healthy food access, and diet-related health conditions in their community health needs assessments and implementation plans.  Findings will be made available through various learning networks, including Community Commons.



The Truth About Poor People’s Eating Habits Will Surprise You 

A recent Centers for Disease Control survey of 5,000 American children and adolescents age 2 to 19 offers proof that poor people not only don’t consume more fast food than those with higher incomes, they actually consume slightly less. The study, which looked at figures from 2011-’12, found that “no significant difference was seen by poverty status in the average daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19.” In fact, the poorest children surveyed got the least amount of their daily calorie intake from fast food, at just 11.5 percent. That number rose to 13 percent for their more affluent peers.

And a Gallup poll from 2013 found “[t]hose earning the least actually are the least likely to eat fast food weekly — 39% of Americans earning less than $20,000 a year do so.” Conversely, more affluent Americans — “those earning $75,000 a year or more — are more likely to eat [fast food] at least weekly (51%) than are lower-income groups.”

Source: The Truth About Poor People’s Eating Habits Will Surprise You | Alternet

We Eat Our Veggies — When We’re Eating Out

If we want to change our diets, maybe we need to think about why the food we buy at the store has so much sugar and so few vegetables. The committee recommended we eat more meals at home, but while that will get us more fruit and less sodium, it’s not going to increase our vegetable intake unless we change our habits.

We Eat Our Veggies — When We’re Eating Out | FiveThirtyEight.

Childhood hunger

Link to a NBC news story about kids who only eat in school; this is an epidemic problem within the industrial food system that those of us working to build an alternative system must address in our initiatives. We can assist those working on school food issues by using our place and products to offer comfort and good food with just a little incentive…

How about markets offering a case of free fruit near the end of the day so kids have it for later in the day or offering a market incentive for high marks (think 5.00 token to the A students)? That token, along with bus tokens and all offered during SNAP incentive seasons could allow families to expand their time together and expand their meals.

First New Orleans recipient of Fresh Food Retail Initiative closes, puts store on market | The Lens

A Central City grocery store that received a low-interest loan under a city-funded program to bring fresh foods to under-served neighborhoods has been closed and placed on the market.

Owner Doug Kariker said the store was too much work. “I can’t do it anymore,” he said. The store was not profitable, he said, “but in our business plan, we didn’t expect it to be” in the first year.

First recipient of Fresh Food Retail Initiative closes, puts store on market | The Lens.

Amazing article on actual food costs

I think there are great quotes and information in here for every market, every food system piece of writing you are doing…

Including this quote:

But alas, the gospel that better nutrition means more expense has taken on a life of its own. Everyone has heard it — and so everyone tends to repeat it. Perception becomes reality, so most people simply accept that good nutrition is economically disadvantageous. They then stop trying to eat better and simply propagate the urban legend.


Watch the healthy people shop

This seems to me to the kind of tip that would work so well in a market newsletter; maybe ask a Board member or a volunteer or a farmer to offer some tips for shopping at your market.Story


Journal of Consumer Research © 2011 Journal of Consumer Research Inc.
Analysis of actual shopping behavior of 1,000 households over a period of 6 months revealed that shopping baskets have a larger proportion of food items rated as impulsive and unhealthy when shoppers use credit or debit cards to pay for the purchases (study 1).

Eric Cantor’s You Cut includes SNAP incentives

On the House Majority Leader’s “You Cut” site, there was a “vote” on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) fruit and vegetable incentive program (Healthy Incentives Pilot), and urges taxpayers to “not have to be bribed (emphasis added) with additional cash benefits to make nutritious food choices.” That is certainly contrary to the thoughts of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack last summer, who stated that, “This pilot project will empower low-income Americans to eat more nutritious food and has the potential to strengthen the SNAP program that serves as a critical safety net to the most vulnerable in our society. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially in the place of higher calorie foods, can help move America towards healthier lifestyles and a healthier future.” See it here
You Cut

Some younger people expect to pay more for heathier options when dining out

A study by The NPD Group reveals that when dining out, Americans do not expect to pay more for healthier food. According to the study, nine percent of all restaurant visits are based on a customers’ desire for lighter or healthier fare (down from 10 percent in 2007). The results did vary a bit by generation, with over half of consumers aged 25 to 49 years old expecting to pay the same price for healthier items and standard fare. Thirty percent of consumers aged 18 to 24 would be willing to pay more for healthy menu items.