Category Archives: Public Health

Food Justice: Economics, Ethics, Access

8232What a group! You know you’re watching something special when Dolores Huerta, the legendary co-founder of the United Farm Workers and Rose Hayden-Smith, the PhD author who writes the UC Food Observer blog are flanked by passionate leaders in healthcare, social justice, and organic farming – all talking about the policies and politics that lead to food deserts and swamps in some communities and abundance in others. Gathered in the historic Star Theatre in Oceanside, California, this lively panel led by Michelle Lerach of the Berry Good Food Foundation will inspire many to plant their own gardens, share their green bounty and engage on issues that address the most fundamental human need – healthy food for a thriving planet.

Watch Food Justice: Economics, Ethics, Access

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The Politics of Food – Food Choice, Food Production and the Food Movement

8232Behind every bite of food, there is a policy that influenced its production.

Marion Nestle, NYU Professor and prize-winning author, finds a paradox in today’s global food system in that food insecurity or obesity threaten the health and welfare of half the world’s population yet there is an overabundant and overly competitive food system that is motivated by corporate growth targets. The profits are in “junk food,” so the economic forces operate against healthy eating.

This contradiction between the goals of public health and food corporations has led to a large and growing food movement in the United States which encourages us to vote with our forks and support the food system we want when we shop.

Find out more about the economic and institutional factors that influence food policies and choices, and think about how we should balance individual and societal responsibility for those choices. Then, get some tips on how you can make a difference when you shop for food.

Nestle is the author of numerous books, including “Food Politics,” which explored the way corporations influence our nutritional choices, and “What to Eat,” a survey of how to navigate the modern American supermarket.

Watch:
Food Politics and the Twenty-First Century Food Movement with Marion Nestle

Food and Politics with Marion Nestle – Conversations with History

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Climate Change, Consumerism and the Pope

8232Why is this Pope different from all other Popes? What inspired his cry from the heart to preserve “our home” in Laudato Si, his recent letter to Catholics and all residents of this glorious, yet troubled, planet?

Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley was among those summoned to the Vatican to advise on climate change and he shares what happened there, as former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Henry E. Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, respond with passion to the Pope’s critique of our consumer-driven way of life. A fourth guest joins midway, this one with black fur and four legs, presumably comforted by the Pope’s call to protect all creatures great and small.

Watch Climate Change, Consumerism and the Pope on the UC Public Policy Channel.

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Dealing with the Unexpected

8232Earthquakes, infectious diseases, tsunamis. Sometimes it feels like we are constantly being bombarded by news of disasters somewhere in the world. If you want to become more prepared and knowledgeable in dealing with unexpected events and their impact – while learning ways to heal the mind and body – checkout this series of programs.

Topics covered include earthquakes, calling 911, stress and psychiatric implications of trauma and disasters, and an update on local San Francisco response teams. Also covered are other timely issues including nuclear, biological and chemical disasters as well as the next big outbreak.

There is no time like the present to get prepared for the next disaster even while hoping it does not affect us.

Watch Disaster Preparedness: The Impact of Dealing with the Unexpected.

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You’ve been invaded – by your Microbiome!

8232“If you like science fiction, I’m going to open with this,” begins David Granet. “You have been invaded. And the invaders are 10 times more than the number of cells in your body. They affect your health, they affect much about what your life does, and about who you are, and what you look like. What are these? It’s your microbiome.”

Microbiome researcher, Rob Knight, Phd joins host David Granet, MD for a fascinating discussion about our massive microbiome.

These tiny organisms have been with us since birth and we continue to acquire them and lose them based on our environment, our diet, and our age. Indeed, various parts of our bodies have different microbiobes which can include bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled organisms.

But don’t panic just yet! According to Knight, we don’t want to wage war on our microbiobes. Instead, he says, “You want to think of them more as a landscape you want to nurture rather than as a battlefield where you want to eliminate everything that is not you.”

So, how might our microbiome affect our health?

Here’s the story of two mice: one skinny and one fat. Each mouse has exactly the same genetics, eats the same foods, and exercises the same amount. Researchers insert the microbiome of one mouse into the other. The skinny mouse becomes fat. The fat mouse becomes skinny.

And it’s not just mice. Our human microbiome has also been shown to impact our health. Rob Knight works with the America Gut project which has collected the microbiome of thousands of people and continues to learn more about how it relates to our health and even our behavior.

“If we can start putting together that map of people who have different medical conditions and the kinds of micriobes that lead them to different places on that microbial map,” says Knight, “then we can tell you a lot more about what’s likely to happen to you, what’s happened already, and potentially what you should do about it.”

“It’s really incredible how they run us,” says Dr. Granet.

Learn more about our incredible microbiome and how it helps to define who we are.

Watch Our Micriobiome – Health Matters.

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