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Detroit Food Policy Council and you

phil jones

Phil assembling

By Phil Jones
Special to the Michigan Citizen

There is much being said about our food these days and it can be confusing. However, it is clear that we will find ourselves involved on some level. Whether it is as an activist or eater, we cannot pull out of the battle.

We are faced with overwhelming evidence that our American diet is less than healthy. And big business fights to keep it that way. Our fields are polluted with genetically modified plants and a host of nasty little surprises, such as salmonella and E. coli.

One can hardly pay for gas without our children in line purchasing their hot Cheetos and Little Hugs for breakfast. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) redemption rates for fresh food purchases are so low that the assistance is in jeopardy of being eliminated.

The decision to shop at small, local stores or at large national chains is one we need to make on a regular basis. Organic food is facing a wave of studies that say it is unnecessary and a waste of money. We have generations of folks who couldn’t cook a meal to save their lives, literally.

We have so many merchants in the city that have no regulation and fight to keep it that way. Our youth have no connection to the food they eat and their parents are not much more in touch with food than are they.

There is much to consider when looking at our food system. This is why the Detroit Food Policy Council is here. Our mission is to help build a food secure Detroit that offers our citizens a better food future. We look to educate folks by holding listening sessions, such as the series of sessions conducted with the Planning Commission this past month, which included the session held at Gleaner’s Food Bank focused on the land sale process in the city of Detroit.

The DFPC is also working to better engage the people of the city by scheduling several of our regular monthly meetings in different parts of the city to make access to our activities easier. We feel that far too often organizations feel inaccessible and distant and the DFPC is dedicated to avoiding this by coming to where the people are.

The DFPC needs your input because the food system is a large part of our lives that needs a tremendous amount of attention. This is not the work of a few. Your activity is desired and needed.

To get involved, attend our monthly meetings held in the Eastern Market offices or drop us a line to alert us to the food related activities of your organizations or business. We would love to hear about the work you’re doing and how we can help you and your efforts.

You could plan on attending Detroit Food Summit 2013 in April. The summit is an interactive food conference featuring a number of sessions on many of the food issues we are faced with today.

You can request that a representative of the DFPC come to your organization to present on what the DFPC is doing. The DFPC can provide you with literature that informs people about all we’re doing. Our annual food report will be released soon to share with your organization. The DFPC is working for you, but we want to work with you, too.

Phil Jones is the vice chair of the Detroit Food Policy Council, owner of Jones Urban Foods and general manager of Colors. He can be reached at or

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