In the spirit of Community Journalism, the Institute for Responsible Nutrition would like to engage a small army of people dedicated to changing the food system. One way we believe we change the food system is to simply share stories – to “find the good and praise it.”
The IRN exists to shape the way food is produced, marketed and distributed so we can end food-related illness and promote good health.
We are committed and accountable to rigorous scientific approach. Our vision is to strengthen the movement to enlighten the public about food and nutrition that reduces food-related illness and promotes a healthy society. In order to accomplish this, we need your help.
We don't believe we need to recreate the wheel to change the food system; rather, we simply need to become a useful part of the wheel of change that which is already in motion. One of our strategies is seek out the most inspiring examples of food system change that we can find, and then document and share these stories with others. Many effective and impactful solutions in the food system already exist – right in your own community, in your school, place of business, or even in your own backyard.
The IRN needs your help to identify these solutions and share them with our community. Your voice and your perspectives on how the food system is changing, or needs to change - is essential and important to us.
Some of the stories that the IRN has shared have already reached over one million people. Our current media channels are reaching over 50,000 followers and our reach is growing daily.
Here are some topics we are interested in:
- Local community food solutions – farm to consumer networks, farmers’ markets, community gardens, food hubs, healthy chefs and restaurants, etc. Are the solutions in your community scalable and replicable? Could they work anywhere?
- School system solutions – schools and districts that are making the connection between, food, nutrition, and academic performance – and making a difference. Is nutrition a central part of the education paradigm or is it still on the margins?
- Health care systems and practitioners that take the idea of “let food be thy medicine” seriously. Innovative doctors and health care professionals that believe food is a fundamental piece of achieving wellness, versus disease centered medicine. Food is the ultimate preventative medicine. Is there a practitioner in your community that understands these vital connections?
- Personal and family success stories about how folks are transforming their health and well-being by changing what they eat and the way they eat. There is amazing change going on - right on our dinner tables, our backyard gardens, etc. The journey to health is ideally a team sport - who is on your team?
- Real food hacks: Food system change is complex. Silicon Valley techies are busy trying to "hack food" (Soylent, Lab-grown meat, etc.). Folks, that ain't real food. And the FDA is letting the chemical industry take over the food supply. Look at this list of "Everything Added to Food in the United States". Yuck! We need to hack real food: We need incredibly delicious meals made from real food in 30 minutes or less. Minimal processing. Let's make it easier for folks to drive right by McDonalds and go home to do (just a little - painless) scratch cooking. No additives or chemicals with names you can't pronounce. Just. Whole. Real. Food. Maybe you can share your favorite "real food hack."
- Baby Food: An issue that we see getting too little attention is baby food. These foods are highly processed, loaded with sugar, and lacking in adequate regulation. Apparently, Europe may be ahead on this. From what we can determine, you pretty much have to make the food yourself, because the options on the shelf are pretty lousy - highly processed starches, high total sugar content, added sugar, low fiber, low nutrient, cheap fillers, sweet juices, etc. And some companies appear to be straight out lying on the labels and contents. Infant formulas appear to be designed to get kids hooked on sugar early in life - high in added sugar and starches that convert to sugar instantly in the body.
The problems with our food system can seem so complicated, yet the solution is often so simple: focus on eating whole, real, fresh food, high in micronutrients and fiber. This idea is promoted through our educational efforts, including the recent production of Sweet Revenge: Turning the tables on processed food, a public television program hosted by Dr. Robert Lustig and seen by over a million people since it first aired, and produced in collaboration with the IRN.
Would you consider working as a volunteer Community Food System Journalist and help the IRN capture and share some of these amazing stories?
We offer a few formats for doing this:
- A photo with a descriptive caption
- A guest blog with photos and hyperlinks – approximately 400 words - read more here!
- A feature story – written and researched with some vigor, includes photos and hyperlinks, approximately 800 – 1200 words
- Review a book or movie about food and nutrition, or a food product that conveys health instead of disease – including a photo and hyperlinks
- A recipe featuring fresh ingredients, high in fiber and micronutrients, and delicious (no sugar or processed food ingredients please)
- Social media posts (formatted for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
If you are interested, simply click here and share a little information about yourself and the topic and format you are interested in. We will then respond and fill you in on next steps.