Vermont Gets Real About Local Food, by Rachel Carter (FARM-TO-PLATE)

Second Vermont Republic

Local food movements are trending across the country. For some, it’s the next “in” thing to do, but for many Vermonters, supporting local agriculture has been a way of life long before it was trendy.

So where does the term “food system” fit in when talking about local food? Everyone from academics to government officials are referring more to food systems when discussing sustainable agriculture, the future of farms, how to feed our growing population, and food equity challenges.

2VR-Food System DiagramAlso referred to geographically as a food shed, the food system includes all components of how food is produced and distributed—everything from farm viability and labor costs to consumer demand and food access to education and energy.

Our current food system is out of balance. We are far too reliant on food grown and distributed outside of our region and decisions made outside of our control. Even in locally conscious Vermont…

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