reform, obesity, diabetes, public health issues, alternative food system, industrial food system, regulations, small food producers, legal barriers, policy barriers, programmatic barriers, healthy food access, public health outcomes

Document Type



America is facing widespread problems with its food system, including environmental harms due to externalities from industrial farms; the increasing amount of "food _miles" traveled by the products that make up our daily meals; and the growing size and complexity of recent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. Indeed, the entire system that covers the life cycle of food, through production, processing, distribution, consumption, and food waste management, is in crisis. One of the most disturbing of these well-documented problems with the industrial food system is the increase in rates of obesity and diet-related illnesses. Obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled since 1980. Rising rates of obesity stem from what has been called a "toxic" food culture, in which unhealthy food products are cheap and readily available,' while healthy foods are unavailable in many urban and rural food deserts or out of reach for those with limited economic means.