Thanksgiving is our national food-focused holiday–but Los Angeles has an all-year-round reputation for food obsessions: Paleo diets. Veganism. Juicing. Fasting. Fusion food trucks, kimchi pizza, chorizo-filled potstickers with duck sauce reduction (yes, that is a real recipe).
What gets a lot less foodie press, though, is the City of Los Angeles’s innovation in creating one of the most progressive food policies in the nation.
Cities around the country have established programs to improve the availability of nutritious food for residents and set ethical and environmental standards for the suppliers to the multitude of public institutions that feed millions every year. In 2012 the city established the L.A. Food Policy Council to develop an equitable food policy for Los Angeles and to answer some key questions: How does a city that buys tons of food every year define “locally grown” food? How do purchasing policies sustain small farmers?
If you skipped down below, you saw that Joann is the Executive Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, a national coalition of workers’ organizations, and Jill is Director of Business and Culinary Development of Coosemans Shipping of L.A., a specialty produce distribution company. So, you may be wondering – what are these two doing writing a blog post together?
We are co-chairs of the Good Food Procurement working group of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, an initiative of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Over the past year and a half, our diverse group – including labor organizations, businesses, non-profit groups, school food service officials, public health advocates, and many more – has developed the Good Food Purchasing Pledge. And the L.A. City Council is poised to adopt the pledge via the Good Food Purchasing and Procurement Motion, sponsored by Councilmember Paul Koretz,