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More Details on Villaraigosa's Food Policy Task Force, Local Restauranteurs Pledge to use More Local Food

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Photo by NatalieMaynor via Flickr

Photo by NatalieMaynor via Flickr
This morning at the Little Tokyo/Arts District Farmers Market, where the city celebrated 30 years of certified farmers markets (even though it began in Gardena), Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced the creation of a food policy task force that will provide a report and recommendations in the next six months on a city food policy council and a foodshed assessment (details listed below).

"In honor of the visionary work of those who founded farmers’ markets 30 years ago, we recognize their important contributions to bring healthy, fresh and locally produced food to Angelenos,” said Villaraigosa. “We make a commitment to the future by launching the work of a task force to help provide access to good food for all Angelenos, particularly those in under served communities. By purchasing produce at farmers’ markets, not only are you helping the environment and living a healthy lifestyle, but you are also supporting local business and creating local jobs.”

Additionally, celebrity chefs in attendance this morning signed a Locally Grown Good Food pledge, agreeing to buy and serve locally grown food as much as possible, in their restaurants, according to the Mayor's office. Chefs in attendance were Evan Kleiman of Angeli Caffe, Neal and Amy Fraser of Grace, Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill and Ciudad, Michael Cimarusti of Providence, Nancy Silverton of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza and La Brea Bakery, Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose, Kenneth McCaskill of Engine Co. No. 28, Jaime Martin De Campo and Ramiro Arviso of La Casita Mexicana and Claude Beltran of Noir Café.

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While members of the task force were not identified, the city will be working in collaboration with the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute of Occidental College, and the Los Angeles Conservation Corps on the report. The Mayor's office lists the following that is expected to be completed in the next six months.

The goal will be to develop policy, conduct research, and provide
recommendations in the areas of:

  • Best practices in the field of food policy council development
  • Food retail and marketing issues
  • Food access and transportation
  • Urban agriculture and community gardens
  • Enhance urban and rural community relationships and
  • Emergency food networks
  • Sustainable agriculture, water use and pesticide use
  • School feeding and nutrition education programs
  • Food waste
  • Local and regional food initiatives

The task force will also be asked to set the framework for a foodshed assessment, in order to:

  • Define the boundaries of the L.A. foodshed
  • Identify how much, how and where food is grown within our
  • Determine the level of regional self sufficiency in food
  • Identify sources of food in the region.
  • Identify methods to enhance regional food security and access to
    Good Food within the city and county
    of Los Angeles.
  • Examine food production resources within the City of Los
    including urban agriculture and community gardens
  • Understand city and county food consumption patterns