- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The irony of obesity and malnutrition in a community with access to an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables has been carefully reviewed by a group of Los Angeles leaders, reported the Los Angeles Times this week.
The task force, established by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, released a report with 50 recommendations to curb the problem, such as creating a regional food hub, making food stamps legal tender at all farmers markets and encouraging city and county institutions to buy more local food.
Paying for the food reform they recommend will be daunting. The task force suggested "leveraging existing resources, increasing participation in existing programs, and identifying outside funding mechanisms."
Director emeritus of UC Cooperative Extension in Ventura County, Larry Yee, is a member of the task force and was also named to the LA Food Policy Council, a more permanent follow-up to the task force.
"The pendulum has swung so far out of balance, to this overly globalized, over-industrialized, over-centralized food system," Yee told Times reporter Mary McVean. "Somehow we have to swing this pendulum back so we are more in control of our food."
The task force report, "The Good Food for All Agenda," was unveiled Wednesday night at the former downtown LA cathedral Vibiana. Attendees ate well at the event, enjoying food prepared by local culinary stars with local agricultural products, McVean reported in The Daily Dish, an LA Times food blog. The menu included grilled octopus, duck tartare, box-roasted pork, tomato tarts and raspberry compote.