Roberts, and co-author Angie Tagtow, analyzed 14 indicators that cut across production, processing, distribution, retail, consumption, health and waste management areas. Five of the 14 indicators exhibited a healthy trend whereas nine indicators exhibited an unhealthy trend – designating the state of Iowa’s food system as ‘Poor.’
According to Tagtow, “Evaluating Iowa’s food system as a whole, allows a broad, comprehensive perspective on the complexities and interconnectedness of our food system. This report is critical for local and state policymakers to guide them in making decisions that strengthens the health and resilience of Iowa’s food system.”
Three recommendations focus on strengthening Iowa’s food system and policy infrastructure at the state, regional and local levels. Twenty-eight recommendations offer specific, action-oriented strategies that restore health and resilience across Iowa’s food system sectors. The report offers a template for counties and municipalities to replicate the process.
This blueprint was presented to the newly formed Iowa Food Systems Council (www.IowaFoodSystemsCouncil.org) as a stepping-stone in examining Iowa’s food system through a comprehensive lens. This framework opens opportunities to broaden this examination and dialog; allows ongoing monitoring of the health and resilience of Iowa’s food system; engages diverse stakeholders; encourages public-private partnerships; and implements initiatives that assure more resilient and healthy food systems in Iowa.
The report is available at http://www.iowafoodsystemscouncil.org/cultivating-resilience/
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation generously provided funding for development of this report. For further information, please visit the Foundation’s website at www.wkkf.org. The University of Northern Iowa Center on Health Disparities provided fiscal administration of the grant.