Assessing Access to Local Food System Initiatives in Fairbanks, Alaska
AbstractLocal food system initiatives are an increasingly popular attempt to address environmental and social-equity problems that seem to be inherent in the conventional global food system. However, relatively few studies have been undertaken to assess the ability of local food system initiatives to ameliorate these concerns. This study focuses on a community with food system vulnerabilities related to geographic isolation and a marginal agricultural climate that limits local food production. The study seeks to develop tools to test hypotheses important to this community and others: whether local foods can be as physically and economically accessible as conventional foods. Using spatial analysis and quantitative price comparisons, the study concludes that at this time, locally grown foods in Fairbanks, Alaska, are not as accessible as conventional foods. The tools applied in this study could be used elsewhere to develop a more robust literature on the impact of local food system initiatives on urban food systems.
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