Assessing Access to Local Food System Initiatives in Fairbanks, Alaska
Alison M. Meadowa
http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2012.022.006, pp. 217–236
AbstractLocal food system initiatives are an increasingly popular attempt to address environmental and social-equity problems that seem to be inherent in the conventional global food system. However, relatively few studies have been undertaken to assess the ability of local food system initiatives to ameliorate these concerns. This study focuses on a community with food system vulnerabilities related to geographic isolation and a marginal agricultural climate that limits local food production. The study seeks to develop tools to test hypotheses important to this community and others: whether local foods can be as physically and economically accessible as conventional foods. Using spatial analysis and quantitative price comparisons, the study concludes that at this time, locally grown foods in Fairbanks, Alaska, are not as accessible as conventional foods. The tools applied in this study could be used elsewhere to develop a more robust literature on the impact of local food system initiatives on urban food systems.
Alaska, food systems planning, geographic information systems (GIS), local food access
a Department of Anthropology/Resilience and Adaptation Program, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.
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