What we Grow + What we process, distribute, sell + What we Eat = Global Health

Post by Nancy E. Roman, President and CEO, PHA (@nancyroman1)

commercial tractor in field

commercial tractor farming

A funny thing is happening. Agriculture wants to get reconnected with health. And that means reconnecting with food.

Now that it’s happening, it all seems so obvious. What we grow, plus what we eat raw, plus what we process, distribute and sell, plus what we buy and eat, equals global health.

That chain of events necessary for health starts with farmers and Agriculture! Only later does it move to distributors, consumer packaged goods companies, and retailers, before moving onto us, the consumer.

As strange as it may seem, somewhere along the line Agriculture – the very root of our supply chain – got disconnected from the food we eat. Crops have been thought of in terms of commodities, which underemphasized the powerful role that food (not crops) play in preventing disease and building health. That is beginning to change. In recent weeks, four agricultural groups have approached Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), with a specific desire to tie Ag to consumer health. It is a significant paradigm shift, but can only be positive.

We’ve known for a long time that food is the most powerful tool we have to build health and prevent disease – we just need policies and practices and a supply chain that builds that reality into a culture with better and more available high-nutrient, low-cost food. Looking at our supply chain in terms of global health is a big job, but it has to start somewhere.

And that’s where global companies come in. They are in the best position to knit together consumer demands for health, and sustainable environmental practices, with the societal demand for food policies and practices that emphasize health. They are beginning to do that.

We’ll be discussing sustainable health and more at PHA’s 2019 Accelerating a Healthier Future Summit in Chicago. This is a space you’ll want to continue to watch.