Cultivating Resilience: A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities

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Cultivating Resilience: A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities

Angela M. Tagtow, MS, RD, LD & Susan L. Roberts, JD, MS, RD

February 2011

Cultivating Resilience Executive Summary (7.7 MB)

Cultivating Resilience A Food System Blueprint (2.3 MB)

We all eat. Food is essential to our existence. It’s an important part of Iowa’s heritage and culture. Yet we often take for granted the large systems that produce, process, distribute, make accessible and dispose of the food we eat.

Iowa’s food systems are being challenged by environmental threats of climate changes, water shortages, and depleted soils; energy threats of decreasing fossil fuels and rising energy costs; health threats of increasing obesity and, at the same time, increasing hunger; and economic threats of fewer farmers and increased control of our food by large corporations.

Cultivating Resilience: A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities is the result of multi-disciplinary efforts including food system stakeholders across Iowa engaged in conversations about the future of food.

The objective of the Iowa Food System Blueprint is to measure the resilience and health of Iowa’s food system through a report card leading to recommendations for research, programs and policies to ensure a food system that supports healthier Iowans, communities, economies, and the environment. The Iowa Food System Blueprint has two parts: a report card on the health of Iowa's food system; and recommendations for Iowa's food system.

This report is presented to the Iowa Food Systems Council 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 resilience and health 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 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.