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Healthier Food Decisions: Change Begins at Home

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For every problem in the food system, the solutions begin at home. Consumers must acknowledge their own part in the food ecology and stop ignoring the influence of food on their everyday lives and health. Food is often taken for granted. Conveniently packaged food sold at large food retailers not only hides ties to other players in the food system, but creates a subconscious dependence on food without thought of where it came from, who it came from and how it came to us. So simply beginning to think consciously about food is a great first step toward changes for healthier living.

Glassell Park resident Myra is a first-time mom with new interests in organic food, edamame and fresh fruit smoothies. She aligns her decision with her concerns for her daughter's health, which she suspects would be at risk with processed foods. Actively thinking about food and health, Myra altered her food environment and opened opportunities for learning and engagement in the food system. She now eats better with her daughter, and takes advantage of the healthy opportunities offered by the community garden in Glassell Park.

One of the first, and arguably the most important, steps toward an improved food system is education. Fundamental to rebuilding a healthy food system is re-establishing the relationship of food and agriculture to the health of individuals and our communities. These educational efforts must include people from all age groups, communities and professions: children can learn about food origins and healthy eating early in their development to establish lifelong and long-lasting habits; adults, business owners, community leaders and policy makers can be educated on the issues affecting our food environment, and how they can support healthy food options at home and in the workplace.

Food Plate

Here are some resources to guide you toward good food choices:

Cost Effective Health
Jessica Dorantes, a Glassell Park resident, describes her motivations behind food purchases and how children prefer vegetables from the garden.


Growing Beyond Limitations
Rachel Surls, County Director at UC Cooperative Extension, explains how to garden in small spaces and how it impacts food budgets.


Renewed Perspective from Parenthood
Myra, a longtime Glassell Park residents, changed her perspective on food after having her first child and describes the transition.

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