Giving Compass' Take:

• Towns and counties are creating food policy councils to take responsibility for their health and become more civically engaged in food policy that impacts them. 

• Are there opportunities in your area to develop local food councils? What kind of food-related issues would you discuss?

• Read about how access to healthy food helps grow a community. 

For years, advocates have tried — and have failed — to garner support for a top-down national food policy. But what might have seemed possible during the Obama years — the President sometimes signaled he might take food system reform seriously, and Michelle Obama’s efforts to combat childhood obesity are well-known — now seems increasingly farfetched. In last year’s bruisingly divisive election season, food barely registered as an issue, overlooked almost entirely by both candidates and the electorate.

In contrast to President Trump’s other cabinet picks, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue generated little controversy, and was confirmed almost without comment. Given America’s current fractured political reality, sweeping food reform would today seem to be a nonstarter.

Which may be why some towns and counties have given up waiting for top-down solutions to save them. Instead, a new, radical food justice notion is taking root: Communities are taking charge of their own fates through “food policy councils,” locally created and controlled civic organizations that are taking responsibility for the health, safety, and reliability of their regional food systems. So far, this largely unrecognized phenomenon has found success where national policy has failed to materialize.

Read the full article about local communities creating "food policy councils" by Corie Brown at The New Food Economy.