This chapter explains the distinction between viewing food-as-a-commodity and food-as-a-commons. It discusses the historical shift toward food-as-a-commodity but shows that many places maintain the food-as-a-commons as their primary approach. The chapter explores the potential for deliberate design of local food systems based on viewing food-as-a-commons, and as a way of pushing back against the pressures of those who promote the commodity-centered view of food. The distinction between food-as-a-commodity and food-as-a-commons can be made in several ways. The shift in motivations for food production has been part of the broader trend toward globalization, especially in trade. Industrialized food production disconnects producers from consumers, and it also tends to exploit workers, the environment, and customers. The community’s charter could articulate clear rights and responsibilities of residents, as an explicit social contract. Many people view agroecology as a promising approach to developing community-based food systems. Ownership and management of local food systems should be shared among those involved, and decision-making should be democratic.