What is a food system?
The food system begins on the farm and ends at the dining table. It includes agricultural production, food processing and distribution, and consumption and nutrition.
A community food system proposes expanded local production of a diverse array of foods, expanded markets for locally-grown foods, more local processing, and more direct contact between farmers and consumers.
It supports farms that are sustainable: environmentally friendly, socially equitable and economically viable over the long term.
The goal is to make high-quality, locally-grown food available to everyone, no matter their income level, in the process rejuvenating family-scale agriculture and reconnecting urban consumers with their food and their rural neighbors.
A community-based food system is appealing, proponents say, because it has something for everyone. It goes beyond food handouts to the hungry or subsidies for farmers. It promises fresher, tastier food for everyone who eats and a style of economic growth with benefits that stay home, rather than vanishing out-of-state or overseas.
If it has to do with food, it is part of the food system.
If you eat, you participate in the food system.