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Crawl-Walk-Run Action Steps

Most articles on Better the Future conclude with actionable steps readers can take. While some of us may be ready to take off running right away, others may need time to learn to crawl. We come from different backgrounds and have differing motivations for wanting to influence change to our food culture. We hope somewhere within these steps everyone can find a comfortable place to begin.

Crawl steps are designed to make you stop and consider an idea, to think about why our culture is structured the way it is or to notice how food culture influences your daily life.

Walk steps move beyond thinking and discovering for yourself to begin to influencing the people closest to you, like family, friends and coworkers. Most people will find these manageable with few resources or outside help.

Run steps move beyond the comfort zone of our close social circles to influence the community in which we live, work and play. These often require the support of others, and work on a broader level.

Create a new Veggie Rx Program

Don’t have a Veggie Rx near you? Research models in nearby communities. Talk to your local farmers market, public health department, or health clinic to gauge interest in starting one. Find a group that has been discussing and offer your support.

 

Support your local farmers

Talk to your local grocery store about offering produce from local farms, especially from farmers of color. If your workplace has a cafeteria, ask about including produce from local farms.

Find a healthier school fundraiser

Most of us remember the fundraisers that encourage kids and their families to eat at a certain local fast food restaurant that will donate a portion of profits to the school on specific days. Ask the school how much they made last year. Then get a group of parents together and approach local businesses not promoting unhealthy meals if they would be interested in a similar arrangement. Maybe the local grocery store or a restaurant with healthy meal options would be interested.

Join with like-minded community members

Find local groups that are actively working to oppose the proposed budget cuts. A good place to start is your local food bank or county public health office. Ask what you can do to support their efforts. The more voices are combined, the louder the message will be heard in Washington, D.C.

Improve school nutrition

Do you work for a school? From food service providers to principals and presidents, we can all find a way to influence nutrition on school campuses. Teachers and professors can find ways to include nutrition in their curriculum. Leaders can support students, employees and staff when they bring ideas to improve the nutritional culture. Food service providers can find healthier methods for preparing foods and can push for healthier options from food suppliers.

Draw attention to the science

If this is the first you’ve heard of heart disease risk being established before birth, you’re probably not alone. Find a local researcher or physician who is familiar with the science, or a recorded talk online (here’s a great TEDx talk) and host a get-together to share. Maybe your office hosts monthly seminars? Or your place of worship? Or just get a group of friends together for a pot-luck and discuss.