Iowa’s status as a major food producer for the world involves entities and issues ranging from individual eating habits and public health policies to food safety and the environment. Check out a chance to explore the many challenges and opportunities of food processing in Iowa tomorrow, Friday, at a public forum presented by the Iowa Food Systems Council and sponsored by Des Moines University. The forum will be held from noon to 2 p.m. in Lecture Hall 1 in DMU’s Academic Center, 3440 Grand Avenue.
The Iowa Food Systems Council (IFSC), states its website, is “an emerging, member-based nonprofit organization whose charge is to monitor Iowa’s food and health landscape, to encourage and coordinate connections between food system leaders and decision-makers, and to identify policies, programs and research that cultivate a resilient and sustainable food system” for healthier Iowans, economy and environment.
The vice president of IFSC’s board of directors is F.R. “Fritz” Nordengren, M.P.H., assistant professor in DMU’s College of Health Sciences, writer, producer and owner of his 80-acre Two Mile Ranch in southern Iowa. Trust me when I say he walks the talk on clean, healthy and sustainable farming, as I’ve purchased several of his utterly delectable range-free chickens.
Friday’s forum is sure to generate plenty of food for thought relating to Food Day, which occurred this past Monday across the nation. Food Day, which will occur annually on Oct. 24, is sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest to “bring together Americans from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.” Co-chairs of this year’s Food Day were Iowa’s very own U.S. Senator Tom Harkin and Connecticut’s U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro.
Changing the American food system is a massive effort, but a massively needed one given our exploding rates of diabetes, obesity and other health issues directly related to food. It will involve persuading people to eat healthier, food processors to provide healthier-yet-affordable options and policy-makers to foster a better system. Join us Friday as we continue chomping on these meaty issues.