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All Things Food

This blog was writ­ten by Kelly Dudeck, Howard County’s Food Pol­icy Director.

Sev­eral weeks ago, Ken Ulman announced the cre­ation of a food pol­icy task force here in Howard County. This may have left some of you, includ­ing a few of my own fam­ily mem­bers, to scratch your heads and ask…. what exactly is food pol­icy anyway?

Well, have you ever won­dered who grew your food, where it came from, and how was it har­vested? Or maybe you’ve been curi­ous about how was it processed, pack­aged and trans­ported? Or how far it trav­eled before it ended up on your plate? Or per­haps you’ve won­dered what kinds of things may have influ­enced your food pur­chas­ing deci­sions? Who pre­pared the food and how. What kind of access to healthy, locally-grown food do you have? Or even – what hap­pens to all the left­over food that you don’t eat?

That, my friends, is food pol­icy. Although tech­ni­cally speak­ing, food pol­icy is any deci­sion, pro­gram or project that is endorsed by a gov­ern­ment agency, busi­ness, or orga­ni­za­tion which effects how food is pro­duced, processed, dis­trib­uted, pur­chased, pro­tected and disposed.

So now back to the food pol­icy task force. The pur­pose of the task force is to bring peo­ple together to make rec­om­men­da­tions that will impact the local food and agri­cul­tural sys­tem. A food pol­icy task force can pro­vide a neu­tral place where peo­ple from all areas of the food sys­tem and gov­ern­ment can meet, learn about what each does, and con­sider how their actions impact other parts of the sys­tem. Food pol­icy coun­cils and task forces are pop­ping up all over, and are tap­ping into this increas­ing inter­est to explore pol­icy options that improve the food system.

This task force will be meet­ing every month, for the rest of the year, delv­ing into all things food. In addi­tion, they will also be mak­ing rec­om­men­da­tions to both Howard County and the Hori­zon Foun­da­tion (our part­ner is this endeavor) on a few projects already in the works, includ­ing a regional food hub. Stay tuned!

Kelly Dudeck
Food Pol­icy Director

Feb­ru­ary 2014

Speak Your Mind

Green Tip

Buy local.It’s fresher: Produce shipped from outside the country travels up to two weeks before it arrives in grocery stores.