The contributions are from researchers working on social, economic, political and ethical issues associated with food systems. The book's focus is on the analysis of and lessons obtained from specific experiences relevant to local food systems, such as tapping urban farmers markets to address issues of food access and public health, and use of zoning to restrict the density of fast food restaurants with the aim of reducing obesity rates. Other topics considered include building a local food business to address the twin problems of economic and nutritional distress, developing ways to reduce food waste and improve food access in poor urban neighborhoods, and asking whether the many, and diverse, hopes for urban agriculture are justified.
The chapters show that it is critical to conduct research on existing efforts to determine what works and to develop best practices in pursuit of sustainable and socially just urban food systems. The main examples discussed are from the United States, but the issues are applicable internationally.
Jeff Bridges, Academy Award–winning actor, cofounder of the End Hunger Network, and spokesperson for the No Kid Hungry Campaign, on raising awareness about hunger
Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group, unravels the inequities in the Farm Bill and shows how they affect America's hunger crisis
Marion Nestle, nutritionist and acclaimed critic of the food industry, whose latest work tracks the explosion of calories in today's “Eat More” environment
Bill Shore, Joel Berg, and Robert Egger, widely-published anti-hunger activists, suggest bold and diverse strategies for solving the crisis
Janet Poppendieck, sociologist, bestselling author, and well-known historian of poverty and hunger in America, argues the case for school lunch reform
Jennifer Harris, of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, uncovers the new hidden persuaders of web food advertisers
David Beckmann, head of Bread for the World, and Sarah Newman, researcher on A Place at the Table, explore the intersection of faith and feeding the hungry
Mariana Chilton, director of Drexel University's Center for Hunger-Free Communities, discusses the health impacts of hunger and the groundbreaking Witnesses to Hunger project
Tom Colicchio, chef and executive producer of television's Top Chef, presents his down-to-earth case to Washington for increases in child nutrition programs
Andy Fisher, veteran activist in community food projects, argues persuasively why we have to move beyond the charity-based emergency feeding program
Kelly Meyer, cofounder of Teaching Gardens, illuminates the path to educating, and providing healthy food for, all children
Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, the film's directors/producers, tell their personal stories of how and why they came to make the documentary
Hunger and food insecurity pose a deep threat to our nation. A Place at the Table shows they can be solved once and for all, if the American public decides—as they have in the past—that making healthy food available, and affordable, is in the best interest of us all.
To address these and related questions, the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) asked the Committee on National Statistics to convene a panel of experts to provide advice for improving the data infrastructure on food consumption and nutrition. The panel was charged to review data needs to support research and decision making for food and nutrition policies and programs in USDA and to assess the adequacy of the current data infrastructure and recommend enhancements to improve it. The primary basis for the panel's deliberations, given limited resources, was a workshop on Enhancing the Data Infrastructure in Support of Food and Nutrition Programs, Research, and Decision Making, which the panel convened on May 27-28, 2004.
This report is based on the discussions at the workshop and the deliberations of the panel. The report outlines key data that are needed to better address questions related to food consumption, diet, and health; discusses the available data and some limitations of those data; and offers recommendations for improvements in those data. The panel was charged to consider USDA data needs for policy making and the focus of the report is on those needs.