The Cool Foods Campaign is helping and supporting cities to adopt "Cool Food" Policies. The City of Santa Monica has already made Cool Foods a part of their Sustainable City Plan, and now Los Angeles has a City Council motion in the works to support sustainable, nutritious food as a city. Cool Foods director Diana Donlon sent the letter below to the President of the LA City Council, in support of the commendable direction their city policy is going.
October 16, 2012
Dear Honorable Herb Wesson,
On behalf of the Center for Food Safety’s Cool Foods Campaign, I write to express my strong support for the City Council motion Local Food Procurement Goals (Council File 11-1678). As a leading consumer and provider of food for residents with limited incomes, the City of Los Angeles has a responsibility to set a high standard for the community and to ensure that city funds are spent in a manner consistent with its social and environmental values. By implementing comprehensive Good Food procurement standards within City departments, the City of Los Angeles can exhibit strong leadership locally and in the nationwide effort to improve our food system. Purchasing healthy, locally produced food lessens the environmental impacts of food procurement practices, promotes fair treatment for food system workers and humane treatment of animals, and encourages necessary investment in our regional food system.
A project of the Center for Food Safety, the Cool Foods Campaign is working to educate and empower consumers to make climate-friendly food choices. Part of our work is to engage with municipalities across the country to implement practical, sustainable food procurement policies and educate their citizens about healthful, environmentally friendly foods. Towards this end, adoption of the Local Food Procurement Goals would establish Los Angeles as a leader in the Good Food Movement and position the city as one of the most forward-looking allies of sustainable food in the United States.
According to the report, “Mid-Century Warming in the Los Angeles Region,” commissioned by the City of Los Angeles, conducted by UCLA’s Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and released in June of this year, the region will likely warm by three to four degrees Fahrenheit by mid-century. The report urges “smart investment” in public policy to mitigate the effects of temperature increases. These include profound impacts to public health, water supply, air quality, agriculture, forest fires, and electrical loads. The Good Food procurement policy is exactly the kind of smart and forward thinking strategy needed to bolster the region’s resilience to these daunting impacts. Moreover, several of the procurement guidelines are “climate friendly,” which means adopting the procurement policy now will contribute to mitigating climate change.
By making a commitment to adopt a comprehensive Good Food procurement policy which expands upon established best practices across the country, Los Angeles has the opportunity to set a national standard for institutions leveraging their purchasing power to build a regional food economy – one in which small and mid-sized farmers have sufficient demand for their products and limited-income consumers can access healthy food in their communities that is sustainably, fairly, and humanely produced. Center for Food Safety asks that you support this policy which encourages investment in a vibrant, sustainable regional economy that benefits all Angelenos and the rest of California.
Diana Donlon, Director, Cool Foods Campaign