Recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Columbia University published the results of a study on reversing America’s obesity epidemic by reorganising the system of food production, processing and distribution. According to the researchers obesity is widespread due to the national-scale system of food production and distribution, which surrounds children — especially lower-income children — with high-calorie products. Up to 90% of American food is processed, which contains ingredients, often acting as preservatives, that can make food fattening. The MIT and Columbia researchers propose a solution:
America should increase its regional food consumption. Each metropolitan area, the researchers say, should obtain most of its nutrition from its own “foodshed,” a term akin to “watershed” meaning the area that naturally supplies its kitchens. Moreover, in a novel suggestion, the MIT and Columbia team says these local efforts should form a larger “Integrated Regional Foodshed” system, intended to lower the price and caloric content of food by lowering distances food must travel, from the farm to the dinner table.