A local group of food experts has claimed that some of the local food challenges are not authentic, and are actually health-hazardous. The experts have also expressed concerns about the health of those who participate in the food challenges. This week, there is a food challenge called the “Aha!” challenge, in which participants try to eat as many local foods as possible in a day.
The success of the Cline Health Center is largely dependent on food challenges. Since 1997, the Cline Research Center has sponsored 133 food challenges, with the results providing useful information for federal and state health officials, and the public. The purpose of these food challenges is to evaluate food labels, and the quality of food products. While the challenges have been at the State level, they have been carried out at the Federal level also, with the Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, and the Department of Agriculture funding the costs.
“Just over a mile from the University of California at San Luis Obispo, food truck operators have been experiencing a surge in business. The trucks have been serving up a steady stream of customers and have raised concerns among some of the neighbors living nearby, since the trucks aren’t regulated by the city. While that may not be an immediate concern for city residents, who have been able to go to the trucks to purchase food from the same vendors for years, food trucks in other cities have faced challenges when it comes to operating in residential neighborhoods.
The goal of the team is to develop a data-driven food policy for California.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly academic members have formed an interdisciplinary team to develop a cohesive, coordinated approach to food policy to replace the outmoded and disjointed regulations that presently control food systems and nutrition education.
The student and faculty researchers have been collaborating with the SLO Food System Coalition to help organize four roundtables to discuss local food system challenges, with the goal of improving human and environmental health and addressing 21st-century food system challenges such as food insecurity, obesity, sustainable food production, and more. Within the coalition, the group also formed a food policy working group.
This study is a crucial first step in using research results to develop practical policy in collaboration with local food system stakeholders such as farmers, companies, health and food security activists, and farm workers. These results should pave the way for a new strategy to designing and executing long-term food policies. The team also intends to conduct a review of current food policy and seek more financing via grants relating to food, nutrition, and agriculture during the following year.
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The initiative, titled “Eating in the Anthropocene: The Future of Food and Food Policy,” is based on the notion that we are living in the Anthropocene era, which marks the first time that humans have had a discernible effect on the earth. The researchers aim to determine how food knowledge and behavior have evolved through time and what impacts they have on the world, both on an environmental and human level, by examining food systems and habits.
Dawn Neill of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies in Liberal Arts, Aydin Nazmi of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Marilyn Tseng of the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health, Nicholas Babin of the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences Department, Richard Volpe of the Agribusiness Department, and Elizabeth Lowham, interim dean of Gradua
“Our country’s food rules are antiquated; the Department of Agriculture originally issued dietary guidelines for Americans in 1916, and those first recommendations have essentially stayed unchanged,” Neill added. “Over that period, there have been so many changes in food production, distribution, availability, and human health, and this disparity has created a barrier to Americans eating healthfully.”
The team will investigate what individuals eat and what motivates them to eat the way they do in collaboration with Cal Poly student researchers. They aim to create “food narratives” based on this data, which will show how food ideology and behavior are linked to food availability, food poverty, and food consumption, as well as the human and environmental repercussions of these decisions. They’ll also look at media archives from the last 125 years to see how food concepts and standards have evolved, as well as how successful those guidelines have been in improving nutrition education and sustainable food production.
Cal Poly’s provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, said, “Given our university’s excellence in agriculture, food, and nutrition, as well as our location in an area with so much food and agricultural production, Cal Poly is uniquely positioned to generate and apply new knowledge and solutions to help address these issues both locally and globally.”
Cal Poly’s Strategic Research Initiatives (SRI) program, a collaboration between Academic Affairs, Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education (R-EDGE), and University Development, is funding the research. The SRI program sought ideas from Cal Poly professors and staff that addressed issues affecting the Central Coast, California, and the globe at large, with a focus on undergraduate and graduate student research experiences.
Visit research.calpoly.edu/strategic-research-initiatives for additional information on the SRI program.
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When the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank first opened its doors, it was created with the noble purpose of helping the poor, homeless and hungry of the county. Since its inception, the food bank has grown and expanded, providing more and more food to hungry families and individuals. The need for food has only increased, and today, the San Luis Obispo County Food Bank is being forced to look into expanding its services to incorporate new areas of need and service.. Read more about cal poly food reddit and let us know what you think.
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