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Oregon Food Matters Project

Oregon Food Matters Project

Project Purpose

The Oregon Food Matters Project is part of the Healthy Food Program at Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. Through the OFM Project, health professionals are trained to be advocates of a healthy, sustainable food system within their facilities, practices, and communities.

Clinicians are recognized as trusted experts on health-related issues, not only in the clinic, but also in the community-at-large. Having a strong health professional voice present in the discourse over the consumption and production of sustainable food can help influence the development of effective food, farm, and health policy.

There are many ways health professionals can support healthy sustainable food systems: 

  • Provide anticipatory guidance to patients and families about the importance of healthy foods.
  • Work with health care facilities to create a healthy food service model, purchasing and serving nutrient rich, chemical free and sustainably grown foods.
  • Work with the community, at a local, regional and national level to promote policies that support the development of a healthy, accessible and fair food system

Project Background

Food is sustenance.  But what and how we eat can also contribute to disease.  Poor nutrition is a risk factor for four of the six leading causes of death nationally - heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer. Nearly 58 million Americans are overweight, and 40 million Americans are obese.  The US spends $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes, and hundreds of billions to treat cardiovascular disease and cancers.   Additionally, our large-scale conventional agriculture system contributes to unhealthy environments through pesticide drift, field runoff, waste burning, and diesel exhaust from transporting food long distances. The air we breathe and thousands of miles of waterways have been significantly polluted by each of these factors. We are also beginning to see alarming statistics about the impact of food systems on climate change.

Project Activities

  • Train clinicians and health professionals to advocate for and effectively promote science- based policy, regulatory decision making, and public discussion on sustainable food systems.
  • Support trained clinicians and health practitioners to advocate for sustainable food systems through facility work, community education, and practice and policy approaches.
  • Influence public discourse and policy making around healthy food environments by coordinating and amplifying the health sector voice.

Interested in Becoming a Sustainable Food Advocate?

  • Attend one of our events!  Click here to learn more about upcoming Oregon Food Matters events and to see an archive of past events, presentations and materials.
  • Join our email list to receive information about upcoming events and new tools and resources.  Send a request to to join the Food Matters Email List.
  • View additional Resources and Links.