For one of my graduate classes we were required to read “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.” I also used it for my capstone project on a state-based food policy council. Since I have a tendency to analyze negativity over and over again, this book changed a lot of my thinking in the way that I viewed food systems change.
↬Right now we have a food system that is not a sustainable model. 40% of our food is wasted (goes into landfills) in the US. 1 in 8 people live in a food insecure household. The increasing consolidation and corporate ownership of the food industry. The food borne illnesses that will continue to occur because of our industrialized model. Unaccessible land ownership, especially for beginning and diverse farmers. Slaughter and meat processing facilities are much harder for small-scale ranchers to access, and in order to sell their meat it must come from a USDA inspected facility which can mean these ranchers have to spend a lot more time and money taking their meat across state-lines to process. Nutritional deficiency rates. And the lack of connection between food and health care providers. I can go on an on about food system issues.
But to create this change in our food system, we can’t simply scare consumers with marketing tactics by telling everyone they must adopt a vegan diet, tell everyone it’s easy to eat healthy, tell everyone to track their calories, and tell everyone to stop using plastic. IT’S NOT THAT SIMPLE. In the Switch book, the authors state, “so when you hear people say that change is hard because people are lazy or resistant, that’s just flat wrong. In fact, the opposite is true. Change is hard because people WEAR THEMSELVES OUT.”
In our quest to create a more sustainable, ACCESSIBLE, and resilient food system, we have to remember food is grounded in both culture and experience. Not one type of food should be condemned. I see this all the time in the nutrition world which is exactly why I’ve taken on the #nondiet
approach. Consumers are bombarded with information overload which can lead to burnout and resistance to change. (Continued in comments).....