Good food nation: reversing obesity via local food systems

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.

For more information, you can read the complete press release by MIT or go the online project results.