chapter  6
22 Pages

Benchmarking Local Food Systems in Older Industrial Regions

ByJames T. Hathaway

Food systems are an interdisciplinary field covering health, nutrition, economics, and the environment, and thus there are great discrepancies in the types of priorities advocated by different interested organizations. In 2010, the American Planning Association teamed up with the American Dietetic Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association to release a joint statement on the principles of a healthy sustainable food system. Government assessments were the strongest in the economic indicator section and carbon emissions of food systems, while nonprofits primarily focused on health, nutrition education, and the cultural appropriateness of foods. Food System Assessments (FSAs) are frequently conducted by city and regional government agencies, universities, and nonprofit coalitions across the US and Canada. Two notable FSAs were completed by the Oakland Food System Assessment and the Greater Philadelphia Food System Study. Most of the FSA environmental considerations are related to farming and food production, which occurs in rural areas or areas on the urban periphery.