• Jasmine Blake Hollywood, MS, HHP

What is the Food Movement and How does it Improve Overall Nutritional Practices?

Updated: Aug 21, 2020

What is the Food Movement?

The food movement is a movement that advocates for healthy eating, healthy eating practices, and for restaurants and community businesses to put more nourishing food items on the shelves to support basic human life ad reduction of disease. Basic nutritional practices advocate for farms to be able to reduce the amounts of chemicals required to cultivate foods, reduce marketing influence on processed foods, and to lower prices of healthier fresh foods. Some advocating goes into politics of socioeconomic status and people being forced out of work and forced to buy foods that have less nutritional content. Some advocating goes into studying the human brain and how marketing can influence buying behavior habits. By advocating these areas and educating families the risk of disease can be reduced.

Why Support the Food Movement?

People, wealthy or poor, need to support the food movement to support overall nutrition practices. It is true that most people who live in difficult situations seem to be driven to "consume inexpensive, high calorie, low nutrient foods." [1]. However, why are these people subject to these types of behaviors? The answer to that is because these people become targeted. These people are financially insecure, frequently experience inequality, have less access to better sources of food. Most people who experience these complications also experience marketing influence at a higher capacity.

Marketing Influences on Lower-Class Socioeconomic Status

Marketing directly targets those who live in the lower class. Fast food commercials play at a higher rate on television channels like NBC and WTOG. Even so, we hardly see them played on paid channels like IFC or HBO. Also, bulletin boards with fast food images are more likely to be posted in lower-class urban areas, rather than upper-class rural areas. In like, fast food locations of lower-class quick-service restaurants (QSR) like KFC, Checkers, and Mc Donalds are seen in higher numbers lower socioeconomic areas. While wealthier neighborhoods have more upper-class QSR locations with organic types of foods like Chipotle, Chick-fil-a, and Culvers. Although people of lower-class socioeconomic areas have a higher rate of marketing influence, health statistics remain equal across all spectra.

What is Impovershed Socioeconomic Status?

Socioeconomics is the interaction between social factors and economic concerns. Impoverish is to be depleted of all sources like money or being without specific needs. For example, there are thousands of run-down neighborhoods hoarding individuals that have low income. They struggle, have no support, and get treated poorly. They also have less access to fine dining and upper-class grocery stores that carry a better selection of nutritious needs. People who live in these neighborhoods become subjected to what society wants. They are often stereotyped and judged. People who experience inequality of this nature hold fewer options unable to afford everything. Despite living in an impoverished socioeconomic area, there are differences between lower-class impoverishment in a developed country and a third world country.

Third World Cultures

The fact of the matter is, there are third-world cultures that still exist. They eat a certain way and cook their meals in a certain way. Like lower-class impoverishment in developed countries, they have limited resources, no nearby grocery stores, and limited income. Unlike lower-class impoverishment in developed countries, they stick together and use their food in sparsity. As well they are not easily influenced by developed country marketing tactics.

Matter of fact, most of the people within these cultures, have never had the pleasure of eating with someone overweight from inside their tribe. Their teeth are also straight, white, and durable. Their health is absolute with most dying from old age or possible injury. Very rarely do they see someone from their kinship dye from a disease. With no resources to implement health measures like:

  1. purchasing personal items at convenience stores

  2. using telephones

  3. having vehicles

--how do they keep such excellent health?

It is not until these people come to America when they start having health issues. The truth is, people in America, and other developed countries poison their people with marketing influence that persuades them to spend money. Such people like us are convinced to purchase inexpensive, high calories, low nutrient foods that are detrimental to our health. What is true is that people who live in third world countries, even with impoverished socioeconomic status, do not need the most nutritional improvement.

Marketing Companies Study the Human Brain

The epidemic of marketing influences the food industry has over the people of America is preposterous. Marketers study the human brain and intentionally produce promotions that have significant control over how people perceive the types of foods readily available to them. There are tons of studies that marketers refer to when trying to come up with a perfect blend of chemicals that make people feel good when they ingest them. Also, these companies profile socio-economic areas that help them figure out where to place their advertisements, where they will have the best influence.

Marketers push their promotions onto people whom they know will buy their products, and the tactics of marketing are easy at best. Low income equals a low-cost meal. Use processed foods and foods loaded with chemicals that sell cheaper to produce a cheaper product. Lower-class socioeconomic people work multiple jobs at a lower pay rate. Low-income individuals have no money for higher-end foods and no time to cook. So they think this way, "Easy low cost eat." This way of thinking seems to be better.

Psychology of Lower-class Socioeconomic Status

People tend to think in ways that most benefit them. Thinking low cost is a more accessible option for those who work multiple jobs. Thinking to eat a lower cost meets their budget needs and financial concerns. People think this way because these people have a more complicated relationship with time management in their lifestyle. The reason for their time management issues could be because of their financially insecure lifestyles. For example, these people have ongoing issues such as:

  1. the cost to travel (no vehicle or constant use of public transportation)vehicles with cost issues (constant maintenance, engine problems, long term commute-more gas)

  2. cost of living may be too high (expensive rates in run-down neighborhoods, landlords taking advantage of tenants forcing them to pay for repair costs)

  3. low job income (low paying jobs, working multiple jobs to cover costs, more gas or transportation to commute to multiple jobs)

  4. cost to raise a family (children with special needs, too many mouths to feed)

  5. cost of medical coverage (have many children, personal health issues)

Supermarkets, Healthy Foods, and Harmful Foods

In addition to viewing spectrums of psychological complications, supermarkets have a powerful influence over society as well. Supermarkets of lower value, continue to build in lower-class neighborhoods, inventorying foods that loaded with pesticides and chemicals that increase health concerns. With the demand for better foods to support our health epidemic, supermarkets that provide healthier foods are springing up. However, these supermarkets are in wealthier upper-class neighborhoods, limiting access to people of lower socioeconomic status. Although supermarkets are now improving access to healthier food, it is still costly.  Even people of upper-class socioeconomic status can barely afford to eat healthily and continue to have health concerns. As well, some "healthy" supermarkets are promoting the same foods that people see in non-healthy lower-class supermarkets. Which means healthy "supermarkets are not reducing the promotion of non-healthy food items as they so claim." [1].

Health Activists and Nutritionists in Movements

It can be agreed and understood why health activists do not want to be part of the food industry nor have partnerships. [1]. Probably because it seems all the food industry does is take our healthy recipes or ideas and skew them. Most new restaurants are bought out by the QSR industry, and all the effort they put into creating their healthier types of franchise are now changed overnight. Their justification is to make them seem more comfortable to create, while their idea is really to push more food out of a fast-food window. They take our recipes and use them as additional ways to sell to their target market.

However, health activists and nutritionists continue to push nourishing foods on all people of all classes. Regardless of information skewed, they try their best to educate individuals of marketing practices, QSR chemically enhanced foods, and where to buy the best bang for the buck. They try to teach people how to cook in ways that are easier and less time-consuming. As well, they teach people how to prepare foods so that it will benefit them when traveling or commuting to work.

Business, Politics, and Governing Authorities

From a business perspective, in moderation, food industrialists should be trying to guide people in eating healthier so they can continue to come back for more. Companies should not be enabling communities to drink beverages with 4x more sugar, while others are then taxing them extra dollars on top of that. In like, companies should not be enticing people of the community to eat food with poisonous chemicals manufactured into them. 

Consequentially, people in the community are becoming obese and steadily watching their health decline. This unbalanced way of living should be a hint to governing authorities, that our government needs to make a change. This change should be made in federal organizations and marketing laws alike.

"There are missing voices." [1]. As well, there are large parts of the legislation that are being ignored and not enforced appropriately.  Most petitions being viewed focus on the wrong subject areas in nutrition. An example of an inadequate governing authority is that hospitals and nursing homes. These organizations are still serving sick and older adults with canned and boxed foods. These foods contain the highest amount of processed ingredients and chemicals. As well, mostly all of them are genetically modified. These foods do more damage than good to these types of individuals. Additionally, no auditors are inspecting and regulating these practices — this why people should support the food justice movement 100%.


  1. Freudenberg, N., McDonough, J., & Tsui, E. (2011). Can a food justice movement improve nutrition and health? A case study of the emerging food movement in New York City. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 88(4), 623–636. doi:10.1007/s11524-011-9598-x

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