Recap: First National Meeting of MomsRising’s Good Food Force in DC! #GFFDC14
MomsRising hosted the first national meeting of the Good Food Force earlier this month in Washington D.C. MomsRising’s Good Food Force meeting was jam-packed with important information, tips on how to improve our advocacy work, and stories of moms across the United States working to improve the food our children eat. I left feeling inspired by all the great work that other GFF bloggers are doing.
The meeting lasted about 36 hours but we were able to learn so much! In addition to the information panels, we had the opportunity to improve our advocacy skills through workshops in social media, media interviewing, blogging and event planning.
During our very healthy lunch, Kristin Rowe-Finkelbeiner, founder and Executive Director of MomsRising, joined us to thank us for our passion, commitment and advocacy.
Here’s what I learned and what you should know:
JUNK “FOOD” MARKETING is out of control. The amount of money spent on junk “food” marketing to kids is ridiculous, and even more so when you look at the number of dollars to target African-American and Hispanic children.
Frames matter: Target Marketing of Junk Food and Sugary Drinks
The culture of individualism in the United States is very much about personal responsibility, so we don’t talk about institutional accountability.
So when we talk about an obesity epidemic, the way it is talked about is “People don’t have will power. They are obese because they eat too much, they make unhealthy choices” but there is no mention of how institutions contribute to the problem: corporations who are free to do what the want at the expense of the public, many times, those who do not have a voice, like minorities and low-income individuals.
What can we do to change this?
We must understand and work to change the way the issue is framed. We must translate and move away from obesity as an “individual” problem… it must be seen as a social issue.
Obesity has not only exploded because people eat too much– other things have happened along the way:
- portion sizes have increased in size
- junk “food” marketing has exploded, especially in poor communities
- quality of food has deteriorated
- Too much sugar and other bad products (HFCS,GMOS,antibiotics) in so many products
- soda companies market their products relentlessly
We need to stop calling it “junk food.”
A fellow MomsRising GFF member made an excellent point: We need to stop calling it “food” as there is nothing nourishing about it, which is what food is supposed to do… there is nothing nourishing or anything good about “junk food” it is mostly empty calories wrapped up and disgusied as food.
CHANGE IS POSSIBLE!
Perhaps you remember that a long time ago, you could purchase cigarettes from a vendng machine, you could also sit in a “smoking” section in an airplane, and smoke in restaurants. Today, that is no longer possible. The same way that smoking has become a social evil, so can junk “food” become a social evil as well.
Here are some of the fab bloggers that I had the pleasure of sharing this great journey of improving our kids’ food and health!
At the end of a long and inspiring day we headed out for an evening monument tour at our Nation’s Capital. More inspiration at the MLK Memorial, the FDR Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial.