About Local Food Systems
The term food system is used to denote all processes and infrastructure involved in growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, distributing, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food and food-related items. It also includes all the needed inputs and all generated outputs, e.g. water, technology, and food waste.
Local food systems are networks of food production and consumption operating wholly within a limited geographic area. They reduce food transportation and increase trust and social connectedness between producers and consumers. The more direct sales structure allows for farmers and producers to make more off their produce while consumers pay similar prices as with traditional food sales. Meanwhile, reduced transportation distances means less pollution and fossil fuel dependence. The City of Phoenix defines the geographic area of its local food system to be Maricopa County.
"Aside from air, food (including clean water) is the most vital resource for life on Earth. And when you look at the food systems data and 2050 projections, the future does look bleak. But humanity has more knowledge, technology, social intelligence, and human capacity than ever before—all of which can be harnessed to create a food system that nourishes all people, grows the global economy, and nurtures a thriving environment." -The Rockefeller Foundation