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The potential of local food systems in North America: A review of foodshed analyses

  • M. Horst (a1) and B. Gaolach (a2)

Abstract

Foodshed analysis provides a way to assess the capacity of regions to feed themselves. While dozens of foodshed analyses have been completed across North America, they have not been systematically analyzed. This paper reviews 22 foodshed analyses completed in the USA and Canada between 2000 and 2013. The criteria used to evaluate the foodshed studies are authorship/type of publication, spatial extent, goals and questions, methods and data sources for assessing consumption and production, analysis of pathways from production to consumption and findings. Similarities and differences, along with strengths and weaknesses, are identified. Together, the foodshed studies indicate significant opportunity for food system relocalization across North America. Foodshed studies are a potentially powerful tool for policy analysis and planning. A future research agenda for foodshed studies is identified, including addressing data gaps and establishing more standardized models for evaluating production, consumption and pathways.

Copyright

Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: horstm@u.washington.edu

References

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