What helps us be healthy?

The Nourish Project seeks to build access to healthy food, grow food skills and engage all of us in advocacy work focussing on poverty and food. Through this work we want to grow equity, community and health across our whole region.

As a society, we seem to spend a great deal of time talking about health and what can help us become and stay healthy. In these conversations, what fascinates me is our strong belief that  we have a great deal of individual control over our own health. Remember the "eat well, be active and stay smoke free" mantra that accompanied so many heart-health initiatives for so long?  If we make the right choices, we will become healthy.  Isn't it how it works?

In a culture which puts individuals on a pedestal and seeks to erase any acknowledgement of a strong class structure, believing that we are all powerful while erasing traces of the inequitable context in which we live is seductive.  In the end, however, this mindset is misleading and utterly destructive to many.

In spite of our best wishes to the contrary, our health journeys are irrevocably planted in our socio-economic contexts.   In fact, as a recent video produced by the Peterborough County-City Health Unit clearly illustrates, the most critical determinants of health are social ones.  They strongly shape the contours and conditions of our health: 


To grow our collective and individual health, we need to help build a community which offers safe and affordable housing, healthy and as much locally produced food for all, a diverse economy with jobs which pay a living wage and a solid safety net.

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