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Join the Fair Food Revolution

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Join the Fair Food Revolution

Fair food is good for people and the earth. In Q&A with Nourish, Dr. Oran Hesterman, founder of the Fair Food Network, discusses what communities are doing to create a more equitable food system.

Dr. Hesterman’s new book, Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All, describes our current food system, how it is no longer serving us, and how we can all play our part in changing it for the better.

Discover more perspectives on creating a better food system in Mark Winne’s Food Policy Councils and Anna Lappé’s Be the Difference. Are you inspired to get involved? Find ideas and resources in Act.

What is “fair food”? What are the principles of a fair food system?
Oran Hesterman: The idea behind fair food is quite simple: Everyone should have the right to healthy food, just as they should have the right to a good education for their children and access to adequate healthcare. Fair food is food grown in a way that is environmentally friendly, that is healthy, and that provides for the economic wellbeing of everybody in the system, from production to processing to distribution. A fair food system is based on the principles of equity, diversity, ecological integrity, and economic viability.

What are some inspiring examples of these principles in action?
Oran Hesterman: Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) program in Michigan has proved to be an outstanding model program that provides monetary incentives to low-income shoppers, encouraging them to spend their federal food assistance dollars (also known as food stamps or SNAP benefits) at farmer’s markets. When customers use their SNAP benefits at participating farmers markets, they receive an equal amount of tokens that can be used at the markets to purchase fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables. The program makes healthy food more accessible to low-income urban families while creating new sales opportunities for farmers, thereby supporting the local economy.

Organizations such as Red Tomato in Boston, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, and Detroit Eastern Market are working as food hubs to aggregate, market, and distribute locally produced food. Their efforts free up time, labor, and cost for the farmers, while streamlining the distribution of local food to consumers and institutions such as schools, restaurants, hospitals, and even grocery stores.

Next: How to catalyze a fair food revolution

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Nourish is an educational initiative designed to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability, particularly in schools and communities. To inform and inspire the largest number of people, Nourish combines PBS television, curriculum resources, web content, short films, and teacher and youth seminars. Nourish is a program of WorldLink, a nonprofit organization dedicated to education for sustainability.


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6:40AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

I enjoyed this article. I grow as much as I can and always shop at a farmers market. I even plant veggies in the wild for the little animals to ejoy.

6:50AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Good idea. Think Monsanto cares?

3:23PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Wonderful. I wish just about all our food was local, organic, and ethically raised. I don't see why we can't do it. People just have to be willing to pay a fair price and/or do some work.

1:23PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

thanks for sharing!!

1:20PM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Great information. I buy all my produce that is in season from a local organic farm.

11:00AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

I support Fair Food-Fair Trade...Everybody wins!

10:05AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011


7:21AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

Michigan is beeing very wise. With crop failures due to climate change storms or drought, it behooves all of the states to start thinking about how they're going to feed their inhabitants.

5:24PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

Great article. Thanks.

3:45PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

Good for Michigan, that program sounds great!~

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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