Today’s guest blogger is Steve Lovejoy, MSU Extension associate director.
Times are tough. Families are being forced to stretch their food budgets more than ever. For many, this is a challenge. For others, it is an opportunity to examine fundamental questions about the organization of our food system. Some are asking “What has gone wrong with our food system? Why can’t we access good, healthy, and affordable food?”
What can be done? Perhaps you have considered the same questions and pondered the role MSU Extension can play in reaching out to those in your community as they consider these critical issues.
Social problems, like rising food and commodity prices, cannot be solved in isolation. They impact us all and are systemic in nature. Addressing social problems require thoughtful and deliberate consideration.
But before people can act together, they have to talk to one another. In an effort to provide families and communities the opportunity to consider how best to respond to these issues, MSU faculty members and Extension educators have collaborated with stakeholders, experts and residents to develop resources for meaningful civic deliberation around the topic of the rising cost of food.
I am pleased to announce a new Issue Guide to be used in informal public forums where community members can explore their own questions concerning food hikes and our food future.
This Issue Guide presents three major approaches, or choices, for addressing the rising cost of food. 1)Taking Personal Stock, Reassessing Lifestyle, Values, and Choices; 2) Local Matters: Re-embedding Food in Community and 3) Increased Food Production: More People = More Demand
Extension educators across the state can help communities, families, and individuals weigh their options and move toward individual and public decision making by convening community forums on this important and timely economic and social problem. With this Issue Guide, and the accompanying Moderators Guide, you can help your community explore the complex dynamics that confront our food and agriculture system today and into the future. Get electronic copies are here.