Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday added his name to a list of nearly 50 entities that endorse a project focusing on creating accessibility to healthy food options for residents.
The Louisville Community Food Principles were created by the Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellows Class of 2013 to help direct the community toward a smart food culture by eliminating food deserts, educating the public about nutrition and supporting local sustainably farmed food.
Those food principles are:
We believe in creating a community food system whereby all community members have equitable, affordable, and convenient access to nutritional food.
We believe in supporting food education efforts that address how food is produced, processed, labeled, distributed, marketed, prepared, consumed, and disposed.
We believe in building a greater nutritional knowledge and awareness throughout our community, acknowledging the important link between the foods we eat and our health.
We believe our support of locally based small and mid-scale farms, as well as local food processing and distribution, will benefit our community.
We believe our food supply should be produced and processed in sustainable ways that prevent the exploitation of farmers, workers, and natural resources, and prevents the cruel treatment of animals.
We believe in supporting community-based initiatives that address hunger.
Stan Siegwald, director of policy and planning for Dare to Care, said a smart food culture is imperative to public health.
“Who can argue with the fact that we should all eat better,” he said. “If you don’t have proper nutrition, you’re starting behind the game.”
Siegler said the mayor’s signature of endorsement of the principles does not create any enforceable policy, but moves forward the conversation of providing healthy options.
“The first step we have to make is to have a consciousness about the food we consume and having the awareness that there are tens of thousands of our neighbors struggling to get the food they need to be healthy,” Siegler said.
Nearly 200,000 residents of Kentuckiana suffer from food hardship, Siegler said.
“That means they are in risk of not being able to put food on the table they need to be healthy,” he said.
The principles that have been introduced focus on educating residents and business leaders on how to create accessibility to healthy diet options. The Dare to Care program has helped initiate programs that encompass these principles into the community and local schools to help educate young people on the importance of life-long nutrition.
Siegler said the goal is to—potentially—change the direction of people’s lives.
“I hope we can all benefit from a smart food culture,” Siegler said.
He said Louisville’s interesting mix of nationally recognized restaurant culture and abundance of residents in poor health presents an opportunity to create a movement towards longevity and health.
“We need to bring those two cultures together,” he said. “If we can get people to eat healthier and lead better lives, we’re all going to be better for it.”
For more information about the Louisville Community Food Principles and the concept of a smart food culture in Louisville, go here.