A food system includes everything from farm to table. A community food system is a food system in which food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place.
The concept of community food systems is sometimes used interchangeably with "local" or "regional" food systems,
This reflects a prescriptive approach to building a food system, one that holds sustainability - economic, environmental and social - as a long-term goal toward which a community strives.
Four aspects distinguish community food systems from the globalized food system that typifies the source of most food Americans eat: food security, proximity, self-reliance and sustainability.
There are several well-recognized elements of a community food system:
Adapted from: Discovering the Food System, A Primer on Community Food Systems: Linking Food, Nutrition and Agriculture, Cornell
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