Healthy Food Systems


A food system is the path that food travels from "farm to fork." This means that the term "food system" includes the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, purchasing, consuming and disposing of food.



An efficient and equitable healthy food system benefits not only the environment and the economy, but also it means that more San Diegans will have the opportunity to eat healthy food. In the last century, a shift towards large-scale crop production coupled with technological advances has led to a rise in the production of inexpensive, highly processed and nutritionally poor foods. These changes have had profound consequences on individual health, the environment and our local economies.

Our food system touches so many areas needed to address health and equity. For example:
  • Approximately 33% of adults, in San Diego County, are overweight and 26% are obese. 
  • 1 in every 7 workers in the US is involved in the food chain and often low paid and at risk for food insecurity. In fact, one study found that in a survey of more than 600 food system workers only 13.5% earned a livable wage, meaning that 86% earned low or poverty wages. 
  • Industrial farms use practices that are water intensive and rely on environmentally harmful chemicals such as insecticides. 

Creating a healthy food system helps us Build Better Health in San Diego by increasing access to healthy and affordable food, supporting the local economy and food supply chain, and protects our natural resources through supporting small-scale farmers and sustainable farming practices. 


healthy food systems
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To learn how the Live Well Community Market Program is working to improve the healthy food system, click here


At Home and in Your Community

Shop for local produce. Farmers markets are a great way to get fresh food and support the local economy. 

Get involved in the San Diego Food System Alliance Working Groups.

Try composting! It's easy, inexpensive and good for the environment. 


At Work

Learn about the Eat Well Practices and ask for healthier food options at your worksite. 

Encourage your worksite to take the Meet Well Pledge and commit to healthier, more sustainable practices while you’re at work.

NEW! Use the Meet Well Event Planning Tool to help you plan healthy and environmentally-friendly events!