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Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Number of Followers: 0  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2152-0801
Published by Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Homepage  [1 journal]
  • New Thinking on “Regional”

    • Authors: Kate Clancy, Kathryn Z. Ruhf
      Pages: 1 - 5
      Abstract: First paragraphs: In 2010, we presented a set of arguments and assumptions supporting the value of regional thinking and the regional scale in food systems work in papers that we wrote under the aegis of the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (Clancy & Ruhf, 2010; Ruhf & Clancy, 2010). We pointed out that local food has resonated with the public, producers, and marketers, and that it has inspired many supportive public policies. We also talked about some of the drawbacks of the focus on “local”—its varied definitions, and its short­comings as a framework for sustainable and resilient food systems. We described how regions, which go beyond the local scale, play a unique and essential role in meeting the food needs of a population. Regions also play an important role in sustaining food chain participants and the natural resource base in the face of environmental, social, economic, and climate uncertainty. To us, “regional” signifies a substantial volume and variety of products that can more fully address demand when compared with “local” foods.”  Regional implies a larger scale, often multistate, but is not strictly limited to a radius or state bound­ary. We believe that the regional scale is one of multiple scales—along with local, national and global—that will produce food for the American diet into the future. Regional-scale food systems consider at a landscape scale certain needs and limitations, such as transportation efficiencies, broad land use and protection, energy use, pro­duc­tion systems, and climate. Using a regional scale provides an essential context for addressing cul­tural dynamics and differences, natural and human-made disturbances, and diversity and equity chal­lenges that cannot be adequately encompassed at the local scale....
      PubDate: 2018-10-30
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.008
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Community Kitchen Freezing and Vacuum Packaging

    • Authors: Anna Dawson
      Pages: 1 - 3
      Abstract: First paragraphs: In a 2016 study of fresh food loss on Vermont farms, Salvation Farms Director Theresa Snow and her colleague offered insights into farmer production problems. They extrapolated from their survey results that about 14.3 million pounds (6.5 million kg) of vegetable and berry losses occur on Vermont farms every year. Farm food problems included market saturation of fresh zucchini, lack of available help, not enough storage, blemishes on edible produce, fewer customers at farmers mar­kets, and deterioration of produce in storage while waiting for a future market. Farm fresh produce waste problems, however, can be a training opportunity for community kitchens. My interest in frozen food processing began after working on a community supported agricul­ture (CSA) vegetable farm in the late 1990s, where excess produce was composted, left to rot, or fed to pigs. To me, a retired farmer and former family and consumer science teacher, these farm food waste issues shouted opportunities for addressing today’s food waste and healthy food challenges through freezing. My response to this waste was to design and build a kitchen in 2000 (inspected by New York State Agriculture and Markets) to explore value-added processing. The next year the Cornell Food Venture Center approved several frozen and vacuum-packed procedures I had developed. Boil-in-bags are used for blanching vegetables. After cooling, the vegetable broth is drained off and frozen to use to cook grains or to include in soup kits. Cut vegetable pieces are weighed, put into labeled 3 ml bags, vacuum sealed, and frozen. The vegetables are combined with separately packed cooked dry beans, cooked whole grains, savory sauces, and spices as freezer meal kits....
      PubDate: 2018-10-30
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.020
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Food Policy Councils and Local Governments: Creating Effective
           Collaboration for Food Systems Change

    • Authors: Clare Gupta, Dave Campbell, Kate Munden-Dixon, Jennifer Sowerwine, Shosha Capps, Gail Feenstra, Julia Van Soelen Kim
      Pages: 11 - 28
      Abstract: Drawing data from comparative case studies of 10 California food policy councils (FPCs), this paper describes the nature of the relationships between local governments and FPCs and examines how these relationships support policy-related activities and food systems change. We focus our compari­sons on distinct organizational structures, resource flows, and policy activities. All but one of the 10 councils is organized as a multisector community collaborative, rather than as an independent non­profit organization or a government advisory body. Each includes local government personnel as members and most depend on government resources for their operations, including meeting spaces, facilitation, information, and/or direct funding. All 10 councils feature regular meetings at which information is shared to build awareness, relationships, and trust, all of which can indirectly shape policy agendas and initiatives. This policy relevant work is feasible even for small councils with few resources. FPC leaders can also seize opportunities by considering the stages of the policy process they hope to influence, the types of policy issues they wish to address, the time frame it may take to realize different types of policy goals, and the degree to which they will seek incremental or more fundamental changes. We find that struc­tural autonomy—being organized outside of the government while maintaining strong collabora­tions with the government—helps food policy councils retain their independence while promoting more inclusive policy making processes that link community members to the government.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.006
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Navigating Borders: The Evolution of the Cass Clay Food Partners

    • Authors: Abby Gold, Noelle Harden
      Pages: 29 - 38
      Abstract: The Cass Clay Food Partners is an integrated food network serving Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota, through the combined work of a food policy council, action network, and steering committee. In this paper, we describe the evolution of the network from project-based work to policy development to a partnership that inte­grates both programs and policy for greater impact. We also highlight the many types of boundaries the network has navigated in order to attain success in advancing alternative food systems for the Red River Valley community. These boundaries include political borders such as the state line between North Dakota and Minnesota, as well as philo­sophical divisions between stakeholders and decision-makers. Lastly, we highlight the pitfalls faced and lessons learned by the network during this process.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.010
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Planning for a Resilient Urban Food System: A Case Study from Baltimore
           City, Maryland

    • Authors: Erin Biehl, Sarah Buzogany, Kristin Baja, Roni A. Neff
      Pages: 39 - 53
      Abstract: Many natural and non-natural hazards threaten food security, especially in urban areas where growing populations place extra demands on the food supply. Ensuring stable food security before, during, and after disasters requires resilient food systems that can withstand and recover from disruptions. However, few U.S. cities have considered food systems in disaster preparedness or resilience planning. This reflective case study from the participant-observer perspective examines the process and outcomes of a city-university collaboration to assess and begin to improve the resilience of Baltimore City’s food system. An academic center and municipal department of planning partnered to assess and plan for short- and long-term food system resilience. An Emergency Food Working Group convened for three meetings over three months, resulting in the creation of an emergency food access protocol for acute event response. A broader Baltimore Food System Resilience Advisory Report was then developed based on 36 key-informant interviews with food system stakehold­ers, literature reviews, and geo­graphic information system (GIS) mapping. That report included an assessment of the Baltimore City food system’s vulnerability to hazards, the extent of stakeholder preparedness for food supply disrup­tions, and identified opportunities for enhancing long-term food system resilience. It presented policy recom­mendations for Baltimore and a framework for conceptualizing food system vulnerabilities. Policy recommendations and lessons learned from this planning process can serve as an example for other cities interested in enhancing the resilience of their food system or broadening the scope of their resilience planning.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.008
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Commercial and Anti-Hunger Sector Views on Local Government Strategies for
           Helping to Manage Food Waste

    • Authors: Jennifer J. Otten, Sara Diedrich, Katherine Getts, Christine Benson
      Pages: 55 - 72
      Abstract: In the United States, 40% of all food intended for human consumption is lost or wasted. This has economic, environmental, and social consequences and equity concerns that justify the involvement of local governments. In addition, local governments are well positioned to support the systems-level innovations and systems- and equity-oriented approaches necessary for bringing together various sectors to tackle food waste issues. However, little is known about how food-generating businesses and anti-hunger agencies think local governments and public agencies could work with them to address food waste through source reduction (i.e., prevention) and feeding hungry people. These are the top two methods for waste reduction as outlined in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Food Recovery Hierarchy. Using qualitative interviews, this study presents the key challenges and facilitators of multiple Seattle-based anti-hunger agencies (n=8) and food-generating businesses (n=12) to addressing food waste pre­vention, recovery, and composting. This study also addresses how anti-hunger agencies and food-generating businesses  interrelate within and between the two sectors. Interviewees also pro­vided sector views on the potential roles of local government in this space. Strategies recommended for local governments included:
      committing resources that enable a systems approach. This can be accomplished by dedicating a staff or office to food waste issues, designating funding that is specific to food waste, incorporating equity and inclusivity, and serving as a convener of stakeholders;
      helping to standardize metrics and normal­ize waste audits. These practices are essen­tial for understanding and scaling work within and between sectors, for measuring progress toward goals or fluctuations in the system, and for identifying priorities; and
      supporting the optimal operation of the emergency food system by helping improve infrastructure and efficiency.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.002
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Rejoining the Planning and Public Health Fields

    • Authors: Yeeli Mui, Maryam Khojasteh, Kimberley Hodgson, Samina Raja
      Pages: 73 - 93
      Abstract: The growth of health disparities in the United States, particularly those associated with diet-related diseases, has motivated a reconvergence of the public health and planning disciplines to address this shared challenge. However, the dynamics and mechanisms through which public health and planning agencies can systematically address food-related issues have yet to be fully understood. This study analyzes how partnership between public health professionals and planners in local, regional, and metropolitan (LRM) governments can streng­then community food systems through a more integrated and holistic approach to health. Using a national survey of planning practitioners, we identify which formal local government plans are more likely to address food-related issues, as a way to offer insights on where engagement with public health agencies could be leveraged. Our analysis is further complemented by conducting semistruc­tured interviews with LRM governments in two communities that are known for their innovative plans and policies, to explore how this cross-disciplinary relationship unfolds on the ground. Findings reveal that comprehensive plans are most likely to address the food system, while stand-alone food systems plans are the least common formal plan to be adopted by LRM governments. Stake­holder interviews highlight how the planning–public health partnership can leverage local assets and strengthen the food system in urban versus rural jurisdictions, by formalizing cross-collabora­tion, identifying shared objectives, and building capacity.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.004
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Just Transitions in a Public School Food System: The Case of Buffalo, New

    • Authors: Jessica L. Gilbert, Alexandra E. Schindel, Sarah A. Robert
      Pages: 95 - 113
      Abstract: This article examines the public school food system in Buffalo, New York, for a just transition (Movement Generation, n. d.). School food programs built on just transition characteristics democratize engagement, decentralize decision-making, diversify the economy, decrease consump­tion, and redistribute resources and power. The Buffalo public school district’s food system is an important subsection of the city’s food system that reaches the most vulnerable populations. School food systems contain teachable spaces within schools to introduce students to healthy eating, fresh food, and the (in)equitable economies of the larger community food system. We argue that school food is an ideal entry point for introducing a just transition to the local food system, enhancing food equity built from healthier social, economic, ecological, and political systems. Related to this JAFSCD issue’s call on Local Government in Food Systems Work, we aim to bring attention to the role and responsibility of public education systems in managing and enhancing community food systems through public policy. This qualitative case study examines five public school food programs in Buffalo, New York, for characteristics of a just transition using content analysis of policy and program documents. How does one public school food system engage in and build toward a just transition' Key findings include that all five pro­grams analyzed reflected at least one characteristic of a just transition; programs lacked an emphasis on ecological justice; and younger generations must be included in the just transition implementation process. Ultimately, we argue that the school food system is ideally poised to initiate the implementa­tion of a just transition.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.011
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Municipal Policy Enabling Regional Food Systems in British Columbia,

    • Authors: Naomi Robert, Kent Mullinix
      Pages: 115 - 132
      Abstract: Local-regional food systems are increasingly the focus of community activism and local government planning in British Columbia (BC), Canada. At present, there is no provincial or federal govern­ment food system strategy to inform or guide local government policy efforts. To ascertain focal points of local government food system planning, we assessed current municipal Official Community Plans (OCPs) in BC and suggest areas for future policy development to enable regional food sys­tems in the province. In BC, an OCP is the most comprehensive, high-level municipal planning document used to guide future management and land use decisions. We reviewed OCPs from 61 municipalities (37% of BC’s municipalities) and categorized the food systems policy within accord­ing to a set of 13 topics and 53 subtopics. We report policy topic or subtopic frequency, ex­pressed as a percentage of municipalities (n=49). We also developed and applied a framework to identify policy gaps for enabling regional food systems. Policy addressing food access for resi­dents as well as policy supporting urban agriculture were identi­fied as the most prevalent food system policy foci in BC. Recognition of and support for Indigenous foodways, however, were scarcely addressed by existing food access policies. We identified gaps in regional food system policy regarding postproduc­tion capacity for regional markets, waste manage­ment, and environmental stewardship. We offer that fostering regional sys­tems requires coordinated policy efforts between jurisdictions and suggest that such coordination is particularly important and needed between urban and rural municipalities, which represent primary food-consuming and food-producing areas, respectively. This coordina­tion will require municipalities to expand food system policy efforts beyond their current urban agriculture focus, which has been criticized as having a limited capacity to address a number of pressing food system con­cerns. The framework we developed and applied can serve as a tool in other jurisdictions to assess current local government regional food system policy foci and identify areas for future policy development to enable regional food systems.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.003
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
  • Toronto Municipal Staff and Policy-makers' Views on Urban Agriculture
           and Health

    • Authors: Kate Mulligan, Josephine Archbold, Lauren E. Baker, Sarah Elton, Donald C. Cole
      Pages: 133 - 156
      Abstract: Municipal governments across the Global North are increasingly becoming key actors in shaping urban food and agriculture policy. In the City of Toronto, recent aspirational policies, such as the provincial Local Food Act and the municipal Toronto Agricultural Program, created new opportunities to shape a healthier food system. We sought municipal perspectives on the question of “How might urban agriculture policy and programs be better supported to promote equity and health'” Analysis of findings from semistructured key informant interviews with municipal staff and policy-makers (n=18) illustrated broad support for generating better quantifiable evidence of the impacts of urban agriculture on economic development and employment, health and health equity, land use and production, and partnerships and policies. Place-specific economic and equity data emerged as particularly pressing priorities. At the same time, they sought better approaches to the potential risks involved in urban agriculture. Key informants also shared their views on the use of health impact assessment research to make a case for urban agriculture to a range of stake­holders; to manage real and perceived risks; and to move beyond enabling policies to empower new investments and procedural changes that would facilitate urban agriculture expansion in the city. The results informed the evolving praxis agenda for urban agriculture at the intersections of population health, environmental sustainability, and urban governance.
      PubDate: 2018-10-17
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08B.001
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. B (2018)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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