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Extension > Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships > Community and Local Food Resources > Introduction to Local Food > What is Local Food?

Introduction to Local Food

What is Local Food?

carrotsThere are many reasons why people purchase local food. Does one of the following statements sound like you?

If so, then local food is for you!

This introductory section provides general resources, describes foodsheds, defines local food, and discusses economic benefits of local food. It is a great place to begin if you're interested in starting a local food community in your area.

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General | Foodsheds | Definitions of Local Food | Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

General

Marketing Local Food
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture — University of Minnesota Extension
This 124 page report is very useful for producers and those looking to strengthen their community food systems. Find information on direct marketing techniques, intermediate marketing, regulations, food safety, and more. Includes useful fact sheets including:

Food Systems and Agricultural Policy Resources
Colorado State University Extension
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested in learning how Colorado does local food. See examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

Fact Sheets for Sales of Produce, Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
Minnesota Department of Health
This set of fact sheets provides useful tools and information about regulations for providing local produce to commercial food establishments; selling meat and poultry to consumers, grocery stores, and restaurants; a seasonal food guide; selling to schools; and farm to school website resources.

Is Local Food More Expensive?
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study analyzed the price of local food at farmers markets compared to produce at grocery stores. Findings found that farmers market produce was often slightly cheaper potentially conflicting with the notion that local food is only available to those who are willing to spend more.

The What and Why of Local and Regional Food
United States Department of Agriculture
This illustrated and interactive document from the USDA’s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program contains information about several benefits strong local food systems can have for communities. This is a good source of information for those seeking to learn about the basics of local food systems.

Buy Locally Grown, It’s Thousands of Miles Fresher
Food Routes
This short and quick reference guide provides five excellent reasons to buy local — from taste and freshness to protecting the environment.

Good Food We Can Afford Today and Tomorrow
Community Food Security Coalition
This printable pamphlet focuses on steps we can take to get healthier food and create a healthier planet through local food systems.

Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price
Economic Research Service — United States Department of Agriculture
This report looks at the cost of healthy food vs unhealthy food. Researchers identified that the price for healthy food is cheaper when measured by edible weight rather than by calories.

Healthy Food, Local Food
The Contrary Farmer
This is John Ikerd’s article about organic foods, the industrial food system, and why local food can be healthy. In this in-depth article, Ikerd discusses the history of local food and the potential health benefits of consuming locally.

2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Environmental Working Group
This guide helps consumers determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues. They also present the Clean Fifteen fruits and veggies that are relatively lower in or free of pesticides.

Guide to Washing Fresh Produce
Colorado State University
This guide provides tips on limiting exposure to bacterial contaminants and pesticides on produce.

How Can I Wash Pesticides from Fruit and Veggies? (PDF)
National Pesticide Information Center
This fact sheet provides information about how best to remove pesticides from fruits and veggies.

Local Food as Local Identity

Publications of The Center for Sustainable Environments (CSE)
The Center for Sustainable Environments — Northern Arizona University
This site provides links to several books published by CSE that discuss connections between localities and place-based Food, including "Linking Arizona's Sense of Place to a Sense of Taste" and "Renewing America's Food Traditions." Some of these publications are available as free downloads.

The Food Heritage of Virginia: An Untapped Asset of Community & Economic Development
Lucas Lyons of the University of Virginia
This essay addresses fractured communities and how food celebrations can transform communities into economically sustainable and attractive places to visit, live, and eat. This essay examines case studies in Virginia and West Virginia.

Promoting Regional, Indigenous, and Delicious Food
Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA is a global, grassroots organization that supports local food advocacy and programming. Their Regional Biodiversity program seeks to address the decreasing diversity of food in local communities. This site provides historical examples of food species that used to be linked to specific regions.

Roadfood.com
Renowned food critics, Jane and Michael Stern, celebrate and report on authentic regional meals along highways, in small towns, and in city neighborhoods.

Foodsheds

Red River Valley Food Assessment Research Results
Superior Food Web
Like the Western Lake Superior foodshed analysis this research project analyzed the theoretical ability of the Red River Valley Region of Minnesota and North Dakota to provide its dietary requirements from its own farms. Research results concluded that the region could feed itself a healthy diet a fraction of the farmland currently available. These studies show the great potential for local food systems and provide your community with good examples of the possibilities.

Foodshed Analysis and its Relevance to Sustainability
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This article explores the variety of concerns in relying too heavily on large scale food operations. We need to know where food is coming from and where it might come from.

Mapping Potential Foodsheds in New York State: A Spatial Model for Evaluating the Capacity to Localize Food Production
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This theoretical foodshed analysis demonstrates the degree to which New York State could feed itself with its own agricultural lands. Although challenged with arbitrary state borders and the large outlier of New York City, it was the first of its kind to analyze the agricultural potential for local self-reliance.

Definitions of Local Food

Definition of Local Explored by Small Farm Specialist
Iowa State Daily
In this newspaper article Extension specialist Andrew Larson discusses the many different ideas about how far away you can get local food until it is no longer considered local.

Local Food Lingo
American Farmland Trust
This website lists terms and definitions common in local food. These definitions provide differences between organic, natural, locavore, grassfed, and others.

Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems
Union of Concerned Scientists
This report analyses the economic benefits of local food systems. Authors contend that investing in local food systems creates jobs, keeps money in local economies, promotes community development, and can reduce environmental and public health impacts.

Measuring the Economic Impacts of Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study measures the impacts a local food system would have on jobs and income should a metropolitan demand for fresh fruits and vegetables be met by local farmers. This report is metro-centric and assumes that metropolitan areas are needed for producers to utilize economies of scale in order to make local production feasible and to promote jobs.

The Economic Impact of Fruit and Vegetable Production in Southwest Iowa
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study looks at local food production for metropolitan markets in southwest Iowa. One scenario looks at local production for the area within a growing season, the other scenario looks at production including bordering metropolitan areas. Results indicated that as farm production increases, so do labor incomes and job creation.

Selected Measures of the Economic Values of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in the Upper Midwest
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study estimates the direct and induced economic impacts of a local food system if demand were met with supply including all of the normal controls, such as seasonality. State level and county level analyses were both completed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

General | Foodsheds | Definitions of Local Food | Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

General

Food Systems and Agricultural Policy Resources
Colorado State University Extension
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested to learn how to the state of Colorado does local foods. Once inside, click on any of the first 7 links see some examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

Marketing Local Food
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture — University of Minnesota Extension
This 124 page report is very useful for producers and those looking to strengthen their community food systems. Find information on direct marketing techniques, intermediate marketing, regulations, food safety, and more. Includes useful fact sheets including:

North Dakota “Works” the Food System
Dr. Abby Gold, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Extension
This presentation on local food around the Fargo-Moorhead area in North Dakota and Minnesota gives a general overview on food systems, defines food hubs, presents results from a symposium on local food, and describes the initiatives employed in this area of the country. This can be used as a fun way to look at what people are talking about and get ideas for starting local food discussions in your community.

New Roads to New Markets
Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) Talk
In this presentation by Patty Cantrell, a local food advocate, you will learn about how the food system has been centralized from a large number of smaller producers to a small number of large producers. Cantrell demonstrates how greater food decentralization can increase economic benefits for communities and local small businesses.

Is Local Food More Expensive?
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study analyzed the price of local food at farmers markets compared to produce at grocery stores. Findings found that farmers market produce was often slightly cheaper potentially conflicting with the notion that local food is only available to those who are willing to spend more.

Buy Locally Grown, It’s Thousands of Miles Fresher
Food Routes
This short and quick reference guide provides five excellent reasons to buy local — from taste and freshness to protecting the environment.

Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price
Economic Research Service — United States Department of Agriculture
This report looks at the cost of healthy food vs unhealthy food. Researchers identified that the price for healthy food is cheaper when measured by edible weight rather than by calories.

Good Food We Can Afford Today and Tomorrow
Community Food Security Coalition
This printable pamphlet focuses on steps we can take to get healthier food and create a healthier planet through local food systems.

Healthy Food, Local Food
The Contrary Farmer
This is John Ikerd’s article about organic food, the industrial food system, and why local food can be healthy. In this in-depth article, Ikerd discusses the history of local food and the potential health benefits of consuming locally.

2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Environmental Working Group
This guide helps consumers determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues. They also present the Clean Fifteen fruits and veggies that are relatively lower in or free of pesticides.

Guide to Washing Fresh Produce
Colorado State University
This guide provides tips on limiting exposure to bacterial contaminants and pesticides on produce.

How Can I Wash Pesticides from Fruit and Veggies? (PDF)
National Pesticide Information Center
This fact sheet provides information about how best to remove pesticides from fruits and veggies.

Foodsheds

Foodshed Analysis and its Relevance to Sustainability
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This article explores the variety of concerns in relying too heavily on large scale food operations. We need to know where food is coming from and where it might come from.

Mapping Potential Foodsheds in New York State: A Spatial Model for Evaluating the Capacity to Localize Food Production
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This theoretical foodshed analysis demonstrates the degree to which New York State could feed itself with its own agricultural lands. Although challenged with arbitrary state borders and the large outlier of New York City, it was the first of its kind to analyze the agricultural potential for local self-reliance.

Definitions of Local Food

Definition of Local Explored by Small Farm Specialist
Iowa State Daily
In this newspaper article Extension specialist Andrew Larson discusses the many different ideas about how far away you can get local food until it is no longer considered local.

Local Food Lingo
American Farmland Trust
This website lists terms and definitions common in local food. These definitions provide differences between organic, natural, locavore, grassfed, and others.

Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems
Union of Concerned Scientists
This report analyses the economic benefits of local food systems. Authors contend that investing in local food systems creates jobs, keeps money in local economies, promotes community development, and can reduce environmental and public health impacts.

Selected Measures of the Economic Values of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in the Upper Midwest
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study estimates the direct and induced economic impacts of a local food system if demand were met with supply including all of the normal controls, such as seasonality. State level and county level analyses were both completed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

General | Foodsheds | Definitions of Local Food | Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

General

Marketing Local Food
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture — University of Minnesota Extension
This 124-page report is very useful for producers and those looking to strengthen their community food systems. Find information on direct marketing techniques, intermediate marketing, regulations, food safety, and more. Includes useful fact sheets including:

Food Systems and Agricultural Policy Resources
Colorado State University Extension
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested to learn how to the state of Colorado does local food. Once inside, click on any of the first 7 links see some examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

Fact Sheets for Sales of Produce, Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested in learning how Colorado does local Food. See examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

North Dakota “Works” the Food System
Dr. Abby Gold, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Extension
This presentation on local food around the Fargo-Moorhead area in North Dakota and Minnesota gives a general overview on food systems, defines food hubs, presents results from a symposium on local food, and describes the initiatives employed in this area of the country. This can be used as a fun way to look at what people are talking about and get ideas for starting local food discussions in your community.

New Roads to New Markets
Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) Talk
In this presentation by Patty Cantrell, a local food advocate, you will learn about how the food system has been centralized from a large number of smaller producers to a small number of large producers. Cantrell demonstrates how greater food decentralization can increase economic benefits for communities and local small businesses.

Is Local Food More Expensive?
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study analyzed the price of local food at farmers markets compared to produce at grocery stores. Findings found that farmers market produce was often slightly cheaper potentially conflicting with the notion that local food is only available to those who are willing to spend more.

The What and Why of Local and Regional Food
USDA Know Your Farmer Know Your Food
This illustrated and interactive document from the USDA’s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program contains information about several benefits strong local food systems can have for communities. This is a good source of information for those seeking to learn about the basics of local food systems.

Buy Locally Grown, It’s Thousands of Miles Fresher
Food Routes
This short and quick reference guide provides five excellent reasons to buy local — from taste and freshness to protecting the environment.

Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price
Economic Research Service — United States Department of Agriculture
This report looks at the cost of healthy food vs unhealthy food. Researchers identified that the price for healthy food is cheaper when measured by edible weight rather than by calories.

Good Food We Can Afford Today and Tomorrow
Community Food Security Coalition
This printable pamphlet focuses on steps we can take to get healthier food and create a healthier planet through local food systems.

Healthy Food, Local Food
The Contrary Farmer
This is John Ikerd’s article about organic food, the industrial food system, and why local food can be healthy. In this in-depth article, Ikerd discusses the history of local food and the potential health benefits of consuming locally.

2013 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Environmental Working Group
This guide helps consumers determine which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticide residues. They also present the Clean Fifteen fruits and veggies that are relatively lower in or free of pesticides.

Guide to Washing Fresh Produce
Colorado State University
This guide provides tips on limiting exposure to bacterial contaminants and pesticides on produce.

How Can I Wash Pesticides from Fruit and Veggies? (PDF)
National Pesticide Information Center
This fact sheet provides information about how best to remove pesticides from fruits and veggies.

Local Food as Local Identity

Publications of The Center for Sustainable Environments (CSE)
Northern Arizona University
This site provides links to several books published by CSE that discuss connections between localities and place-based food, including: “Linking Arizona’s Sense of Place to a Sense of Taste” and “Renewing America’s Food Traditions,” etc. Some of these publications are available by free downloads.

The Food Heritage of Virginia: An Untapped Asset of Community & Economic Development
Lucas Lyons of the University of Virginia
This essay addresses fractured communities and how food celebrations can transform communities into economically sustainable and attractive places to visit, live, and eat. This essay examines case studies in Virginia and West Virginia.

Promoting Regional, Indigenous, and Delicious Food
Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA is a global, grassroots organization that supports local food advocacy and programming. Their Regional Biodiversity program seeks to address the decreasing diversity of food in local communities. This site provides historical examples of food species that used to be linked to specific regions.

Roadfood.com
Renowned food critics, Jane and Michael Stern, celebrate and report on authentic regional meals along highways, in small towns, and in city neighborhoods.

Foodsheds

Red River Valley Food Assessment Research Results
Superior Food Web
Like the Western Lake Superior foodshed analysis this research project analyzed the theoretical ability of the Red River Valley Region of Minnesota and North Dakota to provide its dietary requirements from its own farms. Research results concluded that the region could feed itself a healthy diet a fraction of the farmland currently available. These studies show the great potential for local food systems and provide your community with good examples of the possibilities.

Foodshed Analysis and its Relevance to Sustainability
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This article explores the variety of concerns in relying too heavily on large scale food operations. We need to know where food is coming from and where it might come from.

Mapping Potential Foodsheds in New York State: A Spatial Model for Evaluating the Capacity to Localize Food Production
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This theoretical foodshed analysis demonstrates the degree to which New York State could feed itself with its own agricultural lands. Although challenged with arbitrary state borders and the large outlier of New York City, it was the first of its kind to analyze the agricultural potential for local self-reliance.

Definitions of Local Food

Definition of Local Explored by Small Farm Specialist
Iowa State Daily
In this newspaper article Extension specialist Andrew Larson discusses the many different ideas about how far away you can get local food until it is no longer considered local.

Local Food Lingo
American Farmland Trust
This website lists terms and definitions common in local food. These definitions provide differences between organic, natural, locavore, grassfed, and others.

Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems
Union of Concerned Scientists
This report analyses the economic benefits of local food systems. Authors contend that investing in local food systems creates jobs, keeps money in local economies, promotes community development, and can reduce environmental and public health impacts.

Measuring the Economic Impacts of Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study measures the impacts a local food system would have on jobs and income should a metropolitan demand for fresh fruits and vegetables be met by local farmers This report is metro-centric and assumes that metropolitan areas are needed for producers to utilize economies of scale in order to make local production feasible and to promote jobs.

The Economic Impact of Fruit and Vegetable Production in Southwest Iowa
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study looks at local food production for metropolitan markets in southwest Iowa. One scenario looks at local production for the area within a growing season, the other scenario looks at production including bordering metropolitan areas. Results indicated that as farm production increases, so do labor incomes and job creation.

Selected Measures of the Economic Values of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in the Upper Midwest
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study estimates the direct and induced economic impacts of a local food system if demand were met with supply including all of the normal controls, such as seasonality. State level and county level analyses were both completed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

General | Foodsheds | Definitions of Local Food | Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

General

Marketing Local Food
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture — University of Minnesota Extension
This 124-page report is very useful for producers and those looking to strengthen their community food systems. Find information on direct marketing techniques, intermediate marketing, regulations, food safety, and more. Includes useful fact sheets including:

Food Systems and Agricultural Policy Resources
Colorado State University Extension
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested to learn how to the state of Colorado does local food. Once inside, click on any of the first 7 links see some examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

Fact Sheets for Sales of Produce, Meat, Poultry, and Eggs
This website contains important resources for consumers and producers who are interested in learning how Colorado does local Food. See examples, tools, and events that are well established in this local food system.

North Dakota “Works” the Food System
Dr. Abby Gold, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Extension
This presentation on local food around the Fargo-Moorhead area in North Dakota and Minnesota gives a general overview on food systems, defines food hubs, presents results from a symposium on local food, and describes the initiatives employed in this area of the country. This can be used as a fun way to look at what people are talking about and get ideas for starting local food discussions in your community.

New Roads to New Markets
Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) Talk
In this presentation by Patty Cantrell, a local food advocate, you will learn about how the food system has been centralized from a large number of smaller producers to a small number of large producers. Cantrell demonstrates how greater food decentralization can increase economic benefits for communities and local small businesses.

Is Local Food More Expensive?
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study analyzed the price of local food at farmers markets compared to produce at grocery stores. Findings found that farmers market produce was often slightly cheaper potentially conflicting with the notion that local food is only available to those who are willing to spend more.

The What and Why of Local and Regional Food
USDA Know Your Farmer Know Your Food
This illustrated and interactive document from the USDA’s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food program contains information about several benefits strong local food systems can have for communities. This is a good source of information for those seeking to learn about the basics of local food systems.

Buy Locally Grown, It’s Thousands of Miles Fresher
Food Routes
This short and quick reference guide provides five excellent reasons to buy local — from taste and freshness to protecting the environment.

Are Healthy Food Really More Expensive? It Depends on How You Measure the Price
Economic Research Service — United States Department of Agriculture
This report looks at the cost of healthy food vs unhealthy food. Researchers identified that the price for healthy food is cheaper when measured by edible weight rather than by calories.

Good Food We Can Afford Today and Tomorrow
Community Food Security Coalition
This printable pamphlet focuses on steps we can take to get healthier food and create a healthier planet through local food systems.

Healthy Food, Local Food
The Contrary Farmer
This is John Ikerd’s article about organic food, the industrial food system, and why local food can be healthy. In this in-depth article, Ikerd discusses the history of local food and the potential health benefits of consuming locally.

The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen of Produce
PBS
This blog discusses the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen fruits and veggies that had the most toxic pesticide residues remaining after washing according to a USDA study. They also determine the Clean Fifteen fruits and veggies that are relatively lower in or free of pesticides. Get the complete Shopping Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ from Environmental Working Group.

Guide to Washing Fresh Produce
Colorado State University
This guide provides tips on limiting exposure to bacterial contaminants and pesticides on produce.

How Can I Wash Pesticides from Fruit and Veggies? (PDF)
National Pesticide Information Center
This fact sheet provides information about how best to remove pesticides from fruits and veggies.

Local Food as Local Identity

Publications of The Center for Sustainable Environments (CSE)
Northern Arizona University
This site provides links to several books published by CSE that discuss connections between localities and place-based food, including: “Linking Arizona’s Sense of Place to a Sense of Taste” and “Renewing America’s Food Traditions,” etc. Some of these publications are available by free downloads.

The Food Heritage of Virginia: An Untapped Asset of Community & Economic Development
Lucas Lyons of the University of Virginia
This essay addresses fractured communities and how food celebrations can transform communities into economically sustainable and attractive places to visit, live, and eat. This essay examines case studies in Virginia and West Virginia.

Promoting Regional, Indigenous, and Delicious Food
Slow Food USA
Slow Food USA is a global, grassroots organization that supports local food advocacy and programming. Their Regional Biodiversity program seeks to address the decreasing diversity of food in local communities. This site provides historical examples of food species that used to be linked to specific regions.

Roadfood.com
Renowned food critics, Jane and Michael Stern, celebrate and report on authentic regional meals along highways, in small towns, and in city neighborhoods.

Foodsheds

Western Lake Superior Food Assessment Research Results
Superior Food Web
This is a report on a northeast Minnesota community’s efforts to define and assess their region and what it is capable of producing as a local food system. Researchers found that they would be technically capable of providing all of their food needs for a healthy diet within their regional foodshed.

Red River Valley Food Assessment Research Results
Superior Food Web
Like the Western Lake Superior foodshed analysis this research project analyzed the theoretical ability of the Red River Valley Region of Minnesota and North Dakota to provide its dietary requirements from its own farms. Research results concluded that the region could feed itself a healthy diet a fraction of the farmland currently available. These studies show the great potential for local food systems and provide your community with good examples of the possibilities.

Foodshed Analysis and its Relevance to Sustainability
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This article explores the variety of concerns in relying too heavily on large scale food operations. We need to know where food is coming from and where it might come from.

Mapping Potential Foodsheds in New York State: A Spatial Model for Evaluating the Capacity to Localize Food Production
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems
This theoretical foodshed analysis demonstrates the degree to which New York State could feed itself with its own agricultural lands. Although challenged with arbitrary state borders and the large outlier of New York City, it was the first of its kind to analyze the agricultural potential for local self-reliance.

Definitions of Local Food

Definition of Local Explored by Small Farm Specialist
Iowa State Daily
In this newspaper article Extension specialist Andrew Larson discusses the many different ideas about how far away you can get local food until it is no longer considered local.

Local Food Lingo
American Farmland Trust
This website lists terms and definitions common in local food. These definitions provide differences between organic, natural, locavore, grassfed, and others.

Economic Benefits of Local Food Systems

Creating Jobs through Public Investment in Local and Regional Food Systems
Union of Concerned Scientists
This report analyses the economic benefits of local food systems. Authors contend that investing in local food systems creates jobs, keeps money in local economies, promotes community development, and can reduce environmental and public health impacts.

Measuring the Economic Impacts of Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study measures the impacts a local food system would have on jobs and income should a metropolitan demand for fresh fruits and vegetables be met by local farmers This report is metro-centric and assumes that metropolitan areas are needed for producers to utilize economies of scale in order to make local production feasible and to promote jobs.

The Economic Impact of Fruit and Vegetable Production in Southwest Iowa
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study looks at local food production for metropolitan markets in southwest Iowa. One scenario looks at local production for the area within a growing season, the other scenario looks at production including bordering metropolitan areas. Results indicated that as farm production increases, so do labor incomes and job creation.

Selected Measures of the Economic Values of Increased Fruit and Vegetable Production and Consumption in the Upper Midwest
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture — Iowa State University
This study estimates the direct and induced economic impacts of a local food system if demand were met with supply including all of the normal controls, such as seasonality. State level and county level analyses were both completed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

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