279: Cindy Tran on The Moreland Food System Strategy.

Helping one city understand the realities of food insecurity.


Cindy completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine degree at the University of Melbourne with a major in Pathology and matured her quantitative research skills at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute as a research student.
She subsequently completed her Masters of Public Health at the University of Melbourne.  Cindy specialized in health policy & promotion, and developed a good understanding of the Australian Health Care System.  She has a strong interest in obesity and diabetes and how these are influenced by our cities and food system.

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Cindy produced a background report collating local evidence about the issue of food security within the City of Moreland.  This report contributed to the endorsement of the Moreland Food System Strategy in May 2017.


In This Podcast:

Finishing her master’s degree required a semester project and Cindy Tran’s had fallen through since the city food policy she was going to evaluate had not been passed yet. Realizing the city leaders either did not fully understand what food security was or how significant the issue of food insecurity was for their own citizens, she developed a new project to fix this.  Cindy spent her semester gathering all the evidence, including what city already commissioned, and helped frame it in a report that convinced them there was an issue and that it could be tackled. This helped the city take action and the resulting food system strategy is one worth emulating in many other cities.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Starting biomedicine and the pathology of diseases
    • Studying nutrition politics and policy, and the politics of food for her masters
    • Going to the City of Moreland and producing a background report on food systems
    • Looking at how health and well being are affected by diet and even co-workers’ actions
    • Food security the ability to access food that is sufficient, safe and nutritious, determined by -physical access, – social access, and economic access and meets your dietary preferences
    • Developing her own project looking at why the food strategy had not been endorsed by finding the evidence to show the city did have a food insecurity issue
    • Working to get the university to approve her project which needed to be completed within one semester
    • What the Moreland Food System Strategy does to help its community
    • How some of her suggestions were implemented and which one excited her the most
    • Showing how a university student’s research can make a difference

As well as:

Her failure – Wanting to do an honors research project on obesity and diabetes and having the project fall apart when the study subjects were not available

Her success – The background report

Her drive – Her thirst for knowledge

Her advice – Persevere even when people tell you things are impossible, have a story that people can relate to when trying to help them understand something

Paper written by Cindy:

Her background report

Cindy’s Book recommendations:  

When Breath Becomes Air – by Paul Kalanithi

How to find out more about the Moreland Food System Strategy:  

www.moreland.vic.gov.au/food-systems

UrbanFarm.org/Moreland


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