Local food
Overview
 
Local food or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 economies - one in which sustainable
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place." It is part of the concept of local purchasing
Local purchasing
Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced more distantly. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal 'buy local' to parallel the phrase think globally, act locally common in green politics....

 and local economies
Community-based economics
Community-based economics or community economics is an economic system that encourages local substitution. It is most similar the lifeways of those practicing voluntary simplicity, including traditional Mennonite, Amish, and modern eco-village communities...

; a preference to buy locally produced goods and services rather than those produced by corporatized institutions.

It is not solely a geographical concept.
Encyclopedia
Local food or the local food movement is a "collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

 economies - one in which sustainable
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 food production, processing, distribution, and consumption is integrated to enhance the economic, environmental and social health of a particular place." It is part of the concept of local purchasing
Local purchasing
Local purchasing is a preference to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced more distantly. It is very often abbreviated as a positive goal 'buy local' to parallel the phrase think globally, act locally common in green politics....

 and local economies
Community-based economics
Community-based economics or community economics is an economic system that encourages local substitution. It is most similar the lifeways of those practicing voluntary simplicity, including traditional Mennonite, Amish, and modern eco-village communities...

; a preference to buy locally produced goods and services rather than those produced by corporatized institutions.

It is not solely a geographical concept. A United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 publication explains local food as "related to the distance between food producers and consumers," as well as "defined in terms of social and supply chain characteristics."

Local Food Systems

The term "Food System" refers to how food is produced and reaches consumers, and why we eat what we do. It subsumes the terms ‘food chain’ and ‘food economy’, which are both too narrowly linear and/or economic. The food system can be broken down to three basic components: Biological, Economic/political, and Social/cultural. The Biological refers to the organic processes of food production; the Economic/political refers to institutional moderation of different group's participation in and control of the system, and the Social/cultural refers to the "personal relations, community values, and cultural relations which affect peoples use of food."

Local food systems are an alternative to the global corporate models where producers and consumers are separated through a chain of processors/manufacturers, shippers and retailers. They "are complex networks of relationships between actors including producers, distributors, retailers and consumers grounded in a particular place. These systems are the unit of measure by which participants in local food movements are working to increase food security and ensure the economic, ecological and social sustainability of communities."

Definitions of "local"

There is no single definition of "'local' or 'local food systems' in terms of the geographic distance between production and consumption. But defining 'local' based on marketing arrangements, such as farmers selling directly to consumers at regional farmers’ markets or to schools, is well recognized. There are "a number of different definitions for local [that] have been used or recorded by researchers assessing local food systems [and] most [are] informed by political or geographic boundaries. Among the more widely circulated and popular defining parameters is the concept of food miles, which has been suggested for policy recommendations." In 2008 Congress passed H.R.2419, which amended the "Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act". In the amendment "locally" and "regionally" are grouped together and are defined as
In May 2010 the USDA acknowledged this definition in an informational leaflet.

The concept of "local" is also seen in terms of ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, where food production is considered from the perspective of a basic ecological unit defined by its climate, soil, watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

, species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and local agrisystems, a unit also called an ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

 or a foodshed
Foodshed
A foodshed is the geographic location that produces the food for a particular population. The term is used to describe a region of food flows, from the area where it is produced, to the place where it is consumed, including: the land it grows on, the route it travels, the markets it passes through,...

. The concept of the foodshed is similar to that of a watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

; it is an area where food is grown and eaten.

Contemporary Local Food Market

The USDA included statistics about the growing local food market in the leaflet released in May 2010. The statistics are as follows; "Direct-to-consumer marketing amounted to $1.2 billion in current dollar sales in 2007, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, compared with $551 million in 1997. Direct-to-consumer sales accounted for 0.4 percent of total agricultural sales in 2007, up from 0.3 percent in 1997. If nonedible products are excluded from total agricultural sales, direct-to-consumer sales accounted for 0.8 percent of agricultural sales in 2007. The number of farmers’ markets rose to 5,274 in 2009, up from 2,756 in 1998 and 1,755 in 1994, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. In 2005, there were 1,144 community-supported agriculture organiza- tions (CSAs) in operation, up from 400 in 2001 and 2 in 1986, according to a study by the nonprofit, nongovernmental organization National Center for Appropriate Technology. In early 2010, estimates exceeded 1,400, but the number could be much larger. The number of farm to school programs, which use local farms as food suppliers for school meals programs, increased to 2,095 in 2009, up from 400 in 2004 and 2 in the 1996-97 school year, according to the National Farm to School Network. Data from the 2005 School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment Survey, sponsored by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, showed that 14 percent of school districts participated in Farm to School programs, and 16 percent reported having guidelines for purchasing locally grown produce."

Networks of local farmers and producers are now collaborating together in the UK, Europe as well as in Canada and the US to provide an on-line farmers market to customers. In this way, more consumers can now buy locally even on-line when they cannot attend a local farmers market. This also provides local farmers and producers another route to market and keeps overheads low as website costs are shared.

Examples of this are:
Tastes of Anglia in the UK,
BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies),
and the 30 Mile Meal Project in the US.

Supermarkets are beginning to tap into the local foods market as well. Walmart announced plans in 2008 to spend $400 million during that year on locally grown produce Wegman's, a 71-store chain across the northeast, has purchased local foods for over 20 years as well. In their case, the produce manager in each store controls the influx of local foods-the relationships with the local farms are not centrally controlled. A recent study led by Miguel Gomez, a professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 and supported by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future
The David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future is a research organization created in Fall 2007 at Cornell University. ACSF advances multidisciplinary research in Energy, the Environment and Economic Development, and cultivates collaborations within and beyond Cornell.- History :ACSF,...

 found that in many instances, the supermarket supply chain did much better in terms of food miles and fuel consumption for each pound compared to farmers markets. It suggests that selling local foods through supermarkets may be more economically viable and sustainable than through farmers markets.

Locavore and Invasivore

Those who prefer to eat locally grown/produced food sometimes call themselves locavores or localvores. This term began circulation around August 2005 in the San Francisco--area when a number of "foodies" launched a website, Locavores.com, after being inspired by the book "Coming Home to Eat" by ecologist Gary Paul Nabham.

More recently, an "invasivore" movement has emerged as a subset of the locavore movement, which encourages the consumption of nonindigenous invasive species
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 with the intent of controlling harmful populations.

See also

  • Ark of Taste
    Ark of Taste
    The Ark of Taste is an international catalogue of heritage foods in danger of extinction which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion...

  • Community-based economics
    Community-based economics
    Community-based economics or community economics is an economic system that encourages local substitution. It is most similar the lifeways of those practicing voluntary simplicity, including traditional Mennonite, Amish, and modern eco-village communities...

  • Community-supported agriculture
    Community-supported agriculture
    Community-supported agriculture, a form of an alternative food network, is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farming operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food...

  • The Declaration for Healthy Food and Agriculture
    Declaration for Healthy Food and Agriculture
    is a petition, endorsed by 200 national leaders of the sustainable food movement, outlining 12 principles that these leaders believe should frame a healthy food and agriculture policy....

  • Ecotarian
  • Fallen Fruit
    Fallen Fruit
    Fallen Fruit is an artists' collaboration, based in Los Angeles, whose three members are David Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Using photography, video, performance, and installation, Fallen Fruit's work focusses on urban space, neighborhood, located citizenship and community in...

  • Farm to fork
  • Keep Austin Weird
    Keep Austin Weird
    Keep Austin Weird is the slogan adopted by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin, Texas. The phrase has long been believed to have been coined in 2000 by Red Wassenich, who says he made the comment after giving a pledge to an Austin radio station...

  • Local Food Plus
    Local Food Plus
    Local Food Plus is a Canadian non-profit organization that brings farmers and consumers together to build regional food economies. LFP certifies farmers and processors in Ontario, Atlantic Canada, British Colombia and the Canadian Prairies who use sustainable practices, and helps connect farmers...

  • Localism (politics)
    Localism (politics)
    Localism describes a range of political philosophies which prioritize the local. Generally, localism supports local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and promotion of local history, local culture and local identity...

  • Low carbon diet
    Low carbon diet
    A low carbon diet refers to making lifestyle choices to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy use. It is estimated that the U.S. food system is responsible for at least 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gases. This estimate may be low, as it counts only direct sources of GHGe....

  • Slow Food
    Slow Food
    Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. It was the first established part of...

  • Slow Money
    Slow Money
    Slow Money is a movement to organize investors and donors to steer new sources of capital to small food enterprises, organic farms, and local food systems. Slow Money takes its name from the Slow Food movement. Slow Money aims to develop the relationship between capital markets and place,...

  • Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture
    Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment...

  • Sustainable Table
    Sustainable Table
    Sustainable Table was created in 2003 by the nonprofit organization GRACE to help consumers understand the problems with our food supply and offer viable solutions and alternatives from sustainable agriculture...

  • Terra Madre
    Terra Madre
    Terra Madre is a network of food communities, each committed to producing quality food in a responsible, sustainable way. Terra Madre also refers to a major bi-annual conference held in Torino, Italy intended to foster discussion and introduce innovative concepts in the field of food, gastronomy,...

  • Terroir
    Terroir
    Terroir comes from the word terre "land". It was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties...

  • The 100-Mile Diet
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma
    The Omnivore's Dilemma
    The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals is a nonfiction book by Michael Pollan published in 2006. In the book, Pollan asks the seemingly straightforward question of what we should have for dinner. As omnivores – the most unselective eaters – we humans are faced with a...

  • Vertical farming
    Vertical farming
    Vertical farming is a concept that argues that it is economically and environmentally viable to cultivate plant or animal life within skyscrapers, or on vertically inclined surfaces...

  • Wild farming
    Wild farming
    The agricultural technique known as "Wild Farming" is a growing alternative to "factory farming". Wild farming consists of planting crops that are highly associated and supportive to the natural ecosystem. This includes intercropping with native plants, following the contours and geography of the...

  • WWOOF
    WWOOF
    Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms , also known as "Willing Workers On Organic Farms", is a loose network of national organisations that facilitate placement of volunteers on organic farms. While there are WWOOF hosts in 99 countries around the world, no central list or organisation...



External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK