Our Kitchen Table recently provided feedback on the new 2020 Michigan Good Food Charter, being developed by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Initially published in 2010, the Michigan Good Food Charter helped build momentum for efforts across Michigan to advance a food system that promotes equity, health, sustainability, and thriving economies. OKT’s responses are below.
Q. How do these priorities look in your community?
- Everyone does not have access to healthy food in Kent County, especially people of color and those in rural locations. Food sovereignty is negligible.
- People with income challenges here will be hard hit by climate change.
- MUCH MORE needs to be done to encouraging food system practices that mitigate climate change (farming, transportation, waste).
- Yes we need living wages in the food system! Living wages are few and far between for far too many folks in Kent County as evidenced by rising numbers of homeless.
- We need more local food production and less reliance on global, as transportation long distance is not sustainable. We have the ability here in our state to eat local.
- We are a long ways away from health equity — and good food is the biggest solution along with dismantling institutional racism.
Q. How does your vision of the food system align with these ideas?
Our vision aligns perfectly except for the “diversity” in mix of food sources as ultimately a global food market is a food market that negatively impacts the environment and reduces food security in developing countries where much of food is sourced.
What is missing? Is there an issue, challenge, or solution that is NOT represented here?
- “Everyone” needs to be qualified initially as especially inclusive of women, vulnerable children, elders, and people of color. otherwise, this statement is somewhat watered down.
- Sustainable should emphasize support for organic and sustainable farming methods and reduction of reliance on fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers and GMOs, all which are not sustainable.
- Need to include humane treatment of animals involved in food production.