Locally Adapted Food System Assessment: Western Lake Superior Region.
Funded by Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives Institute, University of Minnesota
Stacey Stark (GISL), David Syring (Anthropology), David Abazs (Round River Farm), Mike Mageau (CSCD), Gayle Nikolai (Fond du Lac Band)
This research describes the agricultural landscape of a fifteen county area in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin, including its capacity to provide food for the regional population. The project includes ethnographic interviewing, geographic information systems data development and analysis, and community economic analysis. The outcomes of this work provide a research-based assessment of the current food system, including community supported agriculture, livestock producers, wild food harvesters and commercial growers. A "regional pattern" diet is conceptualized and used to analyze the impact that a shift to eating local foods would have on the collective physical and economic health of the region in contrast to the Standard American Diet. The producers and supporters collaborating in this effort emphasize that information about the capacity of this region to produce food and to meet consumer needs is vital to integrate local food systems into the long-term sustainability of this region.
How much of the food we eat is produced locally?
How much food could be produced locally?
How much food from this area is shipped out of our region?
What would be the effects of keeping our food local instead of shipping it out of our region?
Would growing, processing, and eating more food, produced locally, increase or decrease local job numbers?