Brotherly Love and Sustainable Eats

APHA members tour the Weaver's Way Co-op in Philadelphia in November 2009.

APHA members tour the Weaver's Way Co-op in Philadelphia in November 2009.

At the mammoth American Public Health Association meeting last month in Philadelphia, it was easy to get lost in all the meetings, scientific sessions and special events. Still, 50 people made it to a food system bus tour of some of the city’s sustainable markets and urban farms on the opening day of the conference. On the tour organized by APHA’s Food and Environment Working Group, participants visited Greensgrow Farm, the Urban Nutrition Initiative, Clark Park Farmers’ Market, Milk & Honey Market, Weaver’s Way, the Fair Food Farm Stand at Reading Terminal Market and a healthy corner store site.

A diverse group of food system experts, academics, physicians and students from as far away as Australia joined in eager to see the greener side of Philly’s food scene and share experiences from back home.

“It was a natural fit to have this tour in Philadelphia,” said Lynn Fredericks, founder of FamilyCook Productions in New York City, and a member of the APHA Food and Environment Working Group. “We would like to take the opportunity to explore the food systems within the host cities for our APHA conferences, and in the case of Philly, with such a plethora of innovations within their food system, it was an ideal location to inaugurate this concept.” Read More >

Dietary Choices Called Global Concern

Interesting reading here! A new article in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, “Health Professionals’ Roles in Animal Agriculture, Climate Change, and Human Health” (subscription required) notes what we eat is rapidly becoming an issue of global concern. “With food shortages, the rise in chronic disease, and global warming, the impact of our dietary choices seems more relevant today than ever,” state the authors. “Globally, a transition is taking place toward greater consumption of foods of animal origin, in lieu of plant-based diets. With this transition comes intensification of animal agriculture that in turn is associated with the emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases, environmental degradation, and the epidemics of chronic disease and obesity.”

The article discusses climate change and environmental degradation, noting animal agriculture accounts for 37%, 65%, and 64% of anthropogenic methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia emissions, respectively, from ruminant fermentation, livestock waste, fertilizer use and other factors. Read More >