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Healthy Foods
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:52pm
Thu Dec 3, 2015

Debate Rages Over FDA Approval Of Genetically Modified Salmon

Progress Illinois looks at the debate surrounding genetically engineered salmon now that it has been approved for human consumption in the United States.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:37pm
Thu Mar 20, 2014

Chicago's Food Deserts Are A 'Civil Rights Issue', Experts Say

While the population of food deserts may have arguably decreased over recent years in Chicago, a number of obstacles still remain when it comes to expanding access to healthy foods in the city, according to panelists who discussed the topic Thursday afternoon.

The Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights hosted the talk in Chicago to hear from public, private and non-profit leaders who work on food access issues. Back in 2011, the committee issued its own report about Chicago food deserts, a problem it says must be addressed as a civil rights issue.

Food deserts are communities that lack healthy, fresh food options. In Chicago, African-American and Latino communities tend to face the greatest food access challenges. The Emanuel administration has worked to expand food access by bringing in new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts, among other efforts.

But panelists at the discussion, held at Kennedy-King College on Chicago's South Side, noted that poverty and high prices for healthy foods are big barriers standing in the way of eliminating food deserts. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:29pm
Thu Jan 9, 2014

Report Highlights SNAP Reform Proposals Meant To Reduce Hunger, Promote Nutrition

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a crucial anti-hunger and anti-poverty tool, but a handful of reforms are needed to boost the program's overall effectiveness, argues Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, an associate professor at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy.

About one in eight U.S. families depend on SNAP benefits, at about $1.40 per meal, for food aid. More than 2 million people in Illinois rely on the $80-billion-a-year program, which has helped to reduce hunger and rates of food insecurity in the country, while also providing support to families who face unexpected economic setbacks.

In a recent discussion paper for the Hamilton Project, Schanzenbach noted that despite the program's successes, obesity rates in the nation are still high, the method of determining food aid benefits is outdated and SNAP coverage during economic recessions needs to be improved.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:56pm
Thu Nov 7, 2013

Austin, Galewood Residents Unveil Community Sustainability Action Plan

Chicago's Austin and Galewood community members unveiled their draft "sustainability roadmap" Wednesday evening, detailing ways in which they will take action to strengthen their neighborhoods.

The new community-based planning initiative on the West Side is taking place in Ald. Deborah Graham's 29th Ward. Prior to Wednesday's meeting, residents and other community stakeholders held two "visioning sessions" where they floated ideas to be included in their plan on how to make their neighborhoods more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Check out Progress Illinois' full coverage of the first visioning meeting here.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:41am
Thu Sep 5, 2013

Austin, Galewood Residents Take Part In New Community-Based Planning Initiative

Dozens of West Side business owners and neighborhood residents gathered Wednesday evening for their first community-based planning meeting as part of a new Austin-Galewood Sustainability Roadmap spearheaded by Ald. Deborah Graham (29th). Progress Illinois was there for the meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:24pm
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Experts: New Chicago Food Desert Numbers Not As 'Rosy' As Emanuel Says

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the population of food deserts in Chicago declined 21 percent over the past two years thanks to 15 new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts. But those working on the ground to combat food-access issues in Chicago say the new numbers are not as sweet as they appear.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
3:54pm
Fri Apr 26, 2013

Genetically Engineered Food Must Be Labeled As Such, Argue Consumer Rights Advocates

The United States is one of the last remaining industrialized countries that does not mandate disclosure of genetically modified organisms (GMO) on food labels. But recent state and federal legislation reflects the rallying cry of food advocacy groups calling for the government to give consumers the right to know exactly what they are eating.