Enhance Your Health by Supporting Your Local Food System
Would you like to know where you can get local, fresh, seasonal organic produce?
Do you have fruit trees that produce more fruit than your family can consume but you don’t want to go to waste?
The Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative launched a new website, which provides helpful resources to answer some of these questions and more.
What is a Food System?
A food system includes all processes and infrastructure in place to feed a population; from all the inputs that are necessary to grow food, to the management of waste food at the back end, and everything in between: production, manufacturing and processing, storage and distribution, consumption, and disposal of food and food-related products.
Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative Framework and Vision
The Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative supports the County’s Live Well San Diego vision of a region that is building better health, living safely, and thriving. The Food System Initiative does so by increasing access to healthy and affordable food, supporting the local economy and food supply chain, and protecting our natural resources through supporting small-scale farmers and sustainable farming practices. It also promotes food donation and works with partner organizations to improve the food donation network in the region.
In late 2019, the Live Well San Diego Food System Initiative released the State of the Food System for the San Diego Region 2019 Report, which was done in close collaboration with the San Diego Food System Alliance, as well as dozens of local food system organizations and stakeholders. The report provides an in-depth look at our local food system and the role it plays in people’s health and wellbeing, and its effect on environmental sustainability and the economic welfare of society.
Buy Produce That Is In Season
You can find seasonal fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, watermelon, avocados, and corn at over 30 Certified Farmers’ Markets and farm stands throughout the region. The San Diego County Farm Bureau provides weekly updates on farmers’ market locations and days and times of operation. You also can discover fresh, seasonal, local food by subscribing to a community supported agriculture (CSA) service, which deliver a variety of fruits and vegetables within a CSA box that you either pick up or have delivered to your home or office.
San Diego has over 30 Certified Farmers' Markets
Urban Agriculture and Community Gardens
Community and school gardens are examples of urban agriculture, which provide food access and promote community development. In March 2020, the County Board of Supervisors adopted the Urban Agriculture Incentive Ordinance where unincorporated landowners can produce small-scale crops in exchange for a potential property tax benefit. You can also get involved with a local community garden. Check out a list of community gardens from Master Gardeners of San Diego.
Reduce Wasted Food: Reduction, Donation, and Composting
Limiting the amount of wasted food has economic, social, and environmental benefits. You can follow three simple steps in reducing wasted food through: reduction, donation (including gleaning), and composting. Reduce wasted food by planning ahead and shopping accordingly. You can donate extra food in your pantry to local food banks. If your fruit trees have an abundant amount of food, consider contacting gleaning groups to collect them. Composting leftover food not only diverts food waste from the landfill but also can nourish the soil in your garden. Taking these steps to prevent food waste has the power to reduce waste, feed people rather than landfills, combat climate change, and save money.
Food Vision 2030
The Food System Initiative is collaborating with the San Diego Food System Alliance to engage community members, industry professionals, and stakeholders to develop Food Vision 2030, which will build on and complement the efforts initiated by the State of the Food System report (mentioned above) in order to bring about a healthier, more sustainable, and more just food system.
Please help us by joining the conversation and providing your input on our local food system!