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This paper aims to examine the issue raised by the consumption of locally produced food in all its various aspects, and in particular, addresses how this practice contributes to local and global sustainability. It analyzes the different definitions of local food, the strategies used, the implications of the distance traveled in the transportation of food to the consumer's table – food miles, the relationships between local food consumption and sustainability, farming practices that reduce carbon emissions, contribution of urban agriculture to local food, local trading of food produced by rural farmers, as well as a number of relationships between the consumption of local food and human nutrition and health, local food protection and the ability to support local food production for humanitarian actions in disaster situations. The promotion of “local food” is a complex problem covering environmental issues, the economy and health. Transportation is not the only factor that determines how efficient it is to consume local food. Often, the technologies used for agricultural production are those most responsible for the degree of sustainability in the production and supply of food to the population. Local production does not always mean lower emissions of greenhouse gases. In general, the consumption of local foods, produced in ways adapted to the local environment using technologies with an ecological basis, is something beneficial and salutary for the environment, economy and society in general.
Sci. Agric. v.75, n.1, p.84-94, January/February 2018
ISSN 1678-992X
ABSTRACT: This paper aims to examine the issue raised by the consumption of locally pro-
duced food in all its various aspects, and in particular, addresses how this practice contributes
to local and global sustainability. It analyzes the different definitions of local food, the strategies
used, the implications of the distance traveled in the transportation of food to the consumer’s
table – food miles, the relationships between local food consumption and sustainability, farming
practices that reduce carbon emissions, contribution of urban agriculture to local food, local
trading of food produced by rural farmers, as well as a number of relationships between the
consumption of local food and human nutrition and health, local food protection and the ability
to support local food production for humanitarian actions in disaster situations. The promotion
of “local food” is a complex problem covering environmental issues, the economy and health.
Transportation is not the only factor that determines how efficient it is to consume local food. Of-
ten, the technologies used for agricultural production are those most responsible for the degree
of sustainability in the production and supply of food to the population. Local production does
not always mean lower emissions of greenhouse gases. In general, the consumption of local
foods, produced in ways adapted to the local environment using technologies with an ecological
basis, is something beneficial and salutary for the environment, economy and society in general.
Keywords: food consumption, food miles, greenhouse gases, sustainability
Local food: benefits and failings due to modern agriculture
Fábio Cunha Coelho1*, Enilce Maria Coelho2, Monika Egerer3
1State University of North Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro – Lab. of
Phytotechnology, Av. Alberto Lamego, 2000 – 28013-602 –
Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ – Brazil.
2Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology –
Dept. of Occupational Safety and Health, R. Dr. Siqueira, 273
– 28030-131 – Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ – Brazil.
3University of California Santa Cruz/Center For Agroecology
& Sustainable Food Systems, 1156 High St. – 95064 –
Santa Cruz, CA – USA.
*Corresponding author <>
Edited by: Luís Guilherme de Lima Ferreira Guido
Received November 12, 2015
Accepted January 03, 2017
“Local Food” means that the food was grown in
close physical proximity to the consumer. Around the
world there is a growing movement to consume locally
produced food known as “Local Food”. Although this
movement has concentrated somewhat on North Amer-
ica and Europe, other global regions are now becoming
involved, specifically Brazil. There are, however, many
questions about these policies or popular movements
that value the use of local foods, though common sense
suggests this attitude has been considered beneficial.
This review aims to examine the issues arising out of
the consumption of local food in its various aspects, and
especially emphasizes to what extent this practice con-
tributes to local and global sustainability.
This review is subdivided into several core topics
following the introduction: (a) local food – definitions;
(b) history and strategies used to increase local food
consumption; (c) food miles; (d) local food and sus-
tainability; (e) urban agriculture; (f) farmers and local
food commerce; (g) local food quality; (h) protection of
local food; (i) local food and humanitarian aid and (j)
Local food - definitions
The term “Local Food” has multiple and some-
times conflicting definitions. In most cases it means that
the food was grown in close physical proximity to the
consumer (e.g., a few miles from the point of sale, was
produced in the same city, or in the same state) (Marti-
nez et al., 2010). It can also mean food sold in an alter-
native food market (Smithers et al., 2008). Furthermore,
it could also refer to the food that has the unique char-
acteristics of a particular place, or carries a certain local
cultural value or significance (Sonnino, 2007).
Regardless of the range of meanings, the concept
has undeniable power. The growth in world consump-
tion of locally produced food has resulted in significant
increases in the amount of sales of food produced by lo-
cal farmers. This new paradigm has also stimulated new
(or re-emerging) marketing strategies (Brown and Miller,
2008). Associations for the Support of Peasant Agricul-
ture (Association de Maintien de l’Agriculture Paysanne
– AMAPs) have been spreading through France since
2000. These trust-based partnerships between urban
consumers and farmers are similar to Community Sup-
ported Agriculture (CSA) organizations that developed
in North America in the 1990s (Lagane, 2015). Baskets
of food delivered weekly by organizations of farmers are
locally promoted and local markets are more highly val-
ued, establishing links between farmers and consumers.
However, currently even in large supermarkets one can
find shelves with local food on offer.
Due to the subjectivity of the term, some govern-
ments have decided to standardize the meaning of “lo-
cal food” (Table 1). According to the definition adopted
by the US Congress in 2008 in the “Food, Conservation,
and Energy Act”, a product can be considered a “local
or regionally produced agricultural food product” if (a)
the total distance traveled is less than 400 miles from
the source (approximately 644 km) or (b) the product is
produced in the same state in which it is marketed (Mar-
tinez et al., 2010). However, in Canada, the Canadian
Food Inspection Agency recognizes the term “local” as
food produced in the province or territory in which it
is sold, or also food sold just across provincial borders,
within 31 miles (50 km) from the province or territory
Ecology | Review
Coelho et al. Local food
Sci. Agric. v.75, n.1, p.84-94, January/February 2018
of origin (CFIA, 2014). It is important to consider that,
for example, the province of Ontario in Canada is more
than 1,000 km (621.4 miles) long between its furthest lim-
its. Thus, food produced at the most distant border, up
to 1,000 km away from its destination is still considered
local food. However, Lim and Hu (2015) found that most
Canadian consumers did not show a preference for food
bearing a generic “local” label over similar beef products
labeled as produced within 160 km. This supports the
notion that most Canadian consumers would accept food
produced within 160 km as local food. Further, they found
consumers preferred the generic local label over the 320
km local food label. This suggests that most consumers
deemed the 320 km radius limit beyond the definition of
local. They also observed that most consumers preferred
home-province beef to beef labeled local, suggesting that
it might be beneficial for producers to market products as
home-province products rather than local products.
In France, for example, a so-called ‘short circuit’ is
150 km. According to an official definition, established
in 2009 by the Ministry of Agriculture, a short circuit
is a form of agricultural marketing that is done either
by direct sales from producers to consumers or through
indirect sales provided that there is only one intermedi-
ary between the operator and the consumer (Conseil de
Développement du Pays d’Ancenis, 2015). On the other
hand, Brazil, another huge country, has no legislation
that defines what local food is. This should be discussed,
given its continental size.
In addition to the geographical issues that the term
“local” can address, the movement of local food is a “col-
laborative effort to build a more local based economy,
self-sufficient in food. Sustainable food production, pro-
cessing, distribution and consumption are integrated to
improve the economy, environment and society of a par-
ticular place” (Feenstra, 2002). Thus, the concept of local
food is part of a broader concept of local purchasing and
local economy; a preference for buying locally produced
goods and services, instead of those produced by busi-
ness institutions located far from where people are buy-
ing. Local food is not just a geographical concept, related
only to the distance between producers and consumers,
but is also defined in terms of food supply chain charac-
teristics and their social impact (Martinez et al., 2010).
Local food systems also draw inspiration from how
food is produced, how it affects health, the economy
and the environment. Thus, in some ways, a local food
system also incorporates the concepts of “food security”
and “food economy”. Food systems can be divided into
three basic components: biological, economic-political
and socio-cultural. The biological component refers to
the food production process or how food is produced.
The economic and political components refer to the in-
stitutional moderation of different groups of interest and
control of the food system. The socio-cultural compo-
nent refers to personal relationships, community values
and cultural relationships that affect people in the use of
food (Tansey and Worsley, 2008).
What “local” actually means has long been de-
bated in the alternative food networks literature, with
the consensus that the term is contested and defies defi-
nition. The concept of local food is contextualized and
refracted through the people and places in which food
is produced and consumed. There is huge complexity
involved in understanding, and making sense of local
food networks and their relationship with conventional
food systems (O’Neill, 2014).
History and strategies used to increase local food
In the United States, those who prefer to eat lo-
cally grown food sometimes are called “locavores” or
“localvores” (Roosevelt, 2006). These terms were first
used around 2005 in San Francisco, California, when a
group of “foodies” (i.e., a person who loves food and is
very interested in different types of food) launched the
website, after being inspired by the book
Coming Home to Eat” authored by the environmentalist
Gary Paul Nabhan (Tansey and Worsley, 2008). In 2009,
the U.S. state of North Carolina launched the campaign
“10 % of North Carolina”, which aimed to stimulate lo-
cal economic development by creating jobs and promot-
ing the demand for state products. More than 4,600 peo-
ple and 543 companies, including 76 restaurants, signed
up to support the campaign through the website: http:// They pledged to spend 10 % of
their food budget on local food provisions. As a result of
the campaign, more than 14 million dollars were spent
on locally-grown products (Hampton, 2011).
In Europe, the UK government has for some time
encouraged consumers to buy more locally produced
food. It is expected that the veneration enjoyed by lo-
cal food will generate economic, environmental and so-
cial benefits in local areas, leading to patterns of more
sustainable consumption and production. Furthermore,
consumers, in general, approve of the idea of supporting
local farmers and their own national economy (Cham-
bers et al., 2007).
Local food advocates ranging from individual con-
sumers to government agencies rally around the idea of
knowing who grew their food and how it can be used
as a means of enacting social change and improving the
Table 1 – Countries and distances to be considered local food.
Country Distance Reference
USA 644 km or products produced within the same state in which it is marketed. Martinez et al. (2010)
Canada Food sold within approximately 50 km of the provincial borders. Canadian Food Inspection Agency (2014)
France 150 km. Conseil de Développement du Pays d’Ancenis (2015)
Coelho et al. Local food
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environment. The United States Department of Agricul-
ture (USDA) has codified this sentiment by assigning a
diverse set of the agency’s initiatives from greenhouse
cost-shares to grants for novice farmers to an umbrella
program named “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food”
(USDA, 2011; Nost, 2014).
In many ways, local consumption aims to reverse
the negative effects of globalization on local economies
and communities. Globalization is understood as “the
ever-increasing integration of national economies into
the global economy through trade and investment rules
and privatization, aided by technological advances. Lo-
cal consumption is a process that reverses the trend of
globalization, to discriminate in favor of local” (Hines,
2000). Today, an American popular movement seeks to
protect local economies and go against the juggernaut
of globalization even as government policies continue
to support large food producing companies in the food
exporting sector. For example, many efforts of the U.S.
Dept. of Commerce are to “support U.S. companies in
selling their goods and services abroad” and “aggres-
sively investigating unfair trade practices affecting U.S.
exports or imports into the U.S. market” (United States
Department of Commerce, 2013), rather than figuring
out ways to support local markets. Nonetheless, govern-
ments should develop strategies to strengthen the local
food market and trade as they do for foodstuff that is
Research approaches that estimate the economic
benefits of local food production could inform govern-
ment strategies and policies that favor local producers.
For example, in one case study Loke et al. (2015) estimat-
ed that the price of milk in Hawaii, USA would increase
by 17 % if the product was locally produced, and by 25
% if it were both local and organic. This information
undoubtedly encourages local and organic production
from a local producer’s perspective, where increases in
market price lead to increases in profit. However, this
information does not necessarily encourage local and
organic consumption as price is a barrier to many con-
sumer groups.
Another strategy is to put information about the
origin of food on the packages. For example, Korean con-
sumers have a positive perception of and preference for
domestic rice, particularly when country of origin infor-
mation is provided (Lee et al., 2014). Many consumers
favor the idea, as promoted by retailer advertisements,
that farmers produce in harmony with nature and their
products can be purchased conveniently in the super-
market next door. Regionalization suggests traceability
as it provides an air of knowledge about production
methods. For example, one major Austrian discounter
offers for its organic line not only a differentiation into
“regions of origin” but complete traceability on the inter-
net via the bar code and even CO2 footprint calculations
on the packaging (Schermer, 2015).
The registration of a local food item under Pro-
tected Designation of Origin (PDO) or Protected Geo-
graphical Indication (PGI) is an interesting regional and
cultural based strategy to protect local production. For
example, ‘Vatikiotiko’ is a local onion landrace from
Greece with special quality features, such as strong and
pungent taste and storability. In their study, Petropoulos
et al. (2015) sought to characterize the ‘Vatikiotiko’ land-
race and record its morphological traits and nutritional
value in comparison with commercially cultivated geno-
types. They found the ‘Vatikiotiko’ landrace to indeed
have unique nutritional value (sugar content, mineral
composition and fatty acids profile) in comparison to
commercial genotypes, providing an argument to poten-
tially introduce it as PDO or PGI. Another important
aspect of this product is its cultural importance for the
local region, owing to its survival over the centuries, and
its special taste and flavor due to the microclimatic con-
ditions of the region, which lends high quality to this
As for the promotion of local food products and
services, a study by Mynttinen et al. (2015) recommends
a stronger focus on the added-value of “exciting and au-
thentic novel experiences” in the provision of local food
products and cuisines exclusive to the local culture.
First, this entails the development of the brand around
local food products and services with adequate labeling
to guarantee the authenticity, identity and nature of the
products to the tourist. Second, joint promotional efforts
by farmers' groups and the regional tourism association
might facilitate local products becoming more easily
available in local events. Moreover, fairs and festivals
arranged around meals can be used to attract visitors to
regions and provide organizers an opportunity to make
a wide range of consumption activities. Third, the con-
sumption of locally produced ingredients could be in-
creased through cooperation between the farmers and
owners of self-catering cottages: e.g. in terms of “wel-
come packages” including samples of local foodstuffs.
Fourth, gift-wrapped local food products could be sold
on the premises of tourist accommodation and in the
local supermarkets as souvenirs and presents. Fifth,
more intensive inclusion of local ingredients and spe-
cial menus of authentic local cuisine offered by local
cafes and restaurants in line with seasonal availability
can be seen as an opportunity to add value for tourists.
This was confirmed in a study by Sompong and Rampai
Food festivals can provide high levels of interac-
tion between customers and producers, and offer an
opportunity for traditional culture, livelihoods, and the
local food movement to intersect. At their individual
stalls, producers offer visitors the opportunity to sample
their produce, allowing them to experience the taste and
flavors of the food, at the same time as being able to
discuss the origin of the food and production processes.
Results indicate that engagement and positive emotions
at a food festival are good predictors of food buying be-
havior six months later, highlighting the significance of
emotions and engagement in influencing food purchas-
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ing choices. Thus, one recommendation on a local scale
could be to enact policies that encourage food festivals
which involve local producers and foods to influence
longer-lasting food buying behavior in positive social
and economic ways (Juergensen and Demaree, 2015).
In fact, public policies and marketing are the strat-
egies most commonly deployed to improve local food
consumption and are the ones that result in stronger
Food miles
The “food miles” concept, originating in the Unit-
ed Kingdom, has been very prominent in policy, media,
and social movements in northern countries. This con-
cept has been used to suggest that the importing of food
from distant countries inherently causes more emissions
than cultivating and consuming local products (Kemp et
al., 2010). One of the reasons why consumers choose
to purchase local foods is to reduce the “food miles” of
their purchases (Brown et al., 2009), that is, reduce the
distance that their food travels from farm to plate, in
an effort to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases
(GHG). In fact, it is assumed that consuming more lo-
cal agricultural products results in reduced emissions
of GHGs and the imminent impact of climate change,
and thus contributes to environmental protection and
conservation. However, the calculation is not so simple.
Food production causes emissions of greenhouse gases
at many stages between soil preparation and harvesting.
Even from great distances, food transportation generally
represents less than 15 % of the total energy used to
produce food products (Brodt et al., 2013; Plawecki et
al., 2013). Thus, transportation is only one aspect in the
analysis of the pathway from agricultural production to
the consumer's table.
Plawecki et al. (2013) compared the GHG emis-
sions in the production of organic lettuce grown in a
greenhouse and sold in Michigan, USA, with conven-
tionally grown lettuce in California transported to Mich-
igan in refrigerated trucks for sale. After taking into
account the energy consumption associated with diesel
burning, fertilizer production, activities involved in ag-
ricultural production, transportation and manufacturing
inputs such as the vegetation and irrigation materials,
the authors concluded that the total GHG emissions for
each 1 kg of lettuce produced locally in Michigan was 4
times lower than the lettuce that came from California.
In this case, the use of organic farming techniques and
local production in Michigan resulted in lower green-
house gas emissions compared to conventional produc-
tion in California and the cumulative emissions from
However, local production does not always trans-
late into lower emissions. In a similar analysis which
evaluated the energy consumption involved in the pro-
duction of tomatoes in Sweden and Spain, for consump-
tion in Sweden, it was found that GHG emissions were
higher for tomatoes produced locally. That's because
only about one-fifth of the energy was required to pro-
duce tomatoes in Spain. Swedish production required
high use of coal burning to heat greenhouses needed for
local production. Thus, transportation is not the only
factor that determines how efficient local food really is.
It must also be considered whether the methods used
in the production process are conventional or organic
and whether the siting of that production occurred in
a field or greenhouse with temperature control through
the use of fossil fuels (Carlsson-Kanyama, 1999). Thus,
the inputs in production at the field level, and not just
transportation factors, must be given due consideration.
Saunders and Hayes (2007) reviewed several stud-
ies that compared energy use and emissions of GHGs,
from cultivation to consumption of agricultural products
with local and imported origin. In general, where prod-
ucts are air freighted, the transportation component con-
tributes significantly to the total energy and CO2 emis-
sions in the supply chain. In the case of sea freighted
produce the transport contribution is much lower and
frequently insignificant compared to the energy and
emissions associated with other parts of the supply
chain. According to the authors, the shortest distance to
local markets is generally offset by the higher transpor-
tation efficiency of imported products, which reduces
the energy consumption per unit transported.
In accounting for the total energy spent in the pro-
duction of food, it is important to assess the entire food
system from production to the consumer's table and
thus enable an evaluation between local or imported
food. Saunders and Barber (2008) reported that, due to
different production systems, even when transportation
was taken into account, dairy products imported from
New Zealand used half as much energy as their UK
counterparts, and in the case of lamb, a quarter as much
energy. The importation of apples from New Zealand is
10 % more efficient than UK apples in terms of energy
expenditure as this evaluation showed that products im-
ported from New Zealand to the UK used less energy,
from production to the consumer's table than those
locally produced in the UK; the lower the power con-
sumption, the lower the emission of greenhouse gases.
GHG emissions from the food supply in the UK,
excluding changes in land use, were estimated. Accord-
ing to Garnett (2008), agriculture is responsible for 40
% of total GHG emissions, fertilizer manufacturing
contributes 5 %, food processing 12 %, packaging 7 %
and transport 12 %. Corroborating these data, Edwards-
Jones et al. (2008) concluded that the distance traveled
by food is a poor indicator of the environmental impacts
of food production.
It is often said that locally produced food con-
sumption can greatly reduce the carbon footprint of
agriculture. However, there are many controversies sur-
rounding this statement, which demand more research
on the subject. For example, Matos (2009) in evaluating
sunflower oil consumption in Portugal, found that the
seeds of oilseed produced in Portugal are sent to Spain,
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for extraction processing and oil refining. The refined
vegetable oil travels back to Portugal where it is pack-
aged and distributed to hypermarkets, and finally to con-
sumers. The GHG emissions analysis shows that to pro-
duce and put 1 L of edible vegetable oil on the shelves
of national hypermarkets in Portugal, the product's car-
bon footprint is 2.77 kg CO2 eq. Production of oilseed
contributes the largest fraction of GHG emissions (80
%), followed by the extracting and refining stage (12 %),
packaging (6 %), road transport (3 %), and local distribu-
tion (1 %). The authors found that the greatest contribu-
tion to the carbon footprint comes from nitrous oxide,
the result of denitrification processes associated with
the use of nitrogen fertilizers. However, Michalsky and
Hooda (2015) did a quantitative assessment. They se-
lected five commodities (apples, cherries, strawberries,
garlic and peas). Selection of the commodities fulfills
a key prerequisite that all of them can be grown un-
der current UK climatic conditions and are commonly
bought by UK consumers. A scenario-based approach
determined the level of emissions savings that could be
achieved by local food production in the UK. The least
dramatic change of Scenario-1 (25 % reduction in im-
ports by increasing their local production by the same
amount) could save 28.9 kt CO2 e yr–1, while Scenario-2
(50 % reduction) and Scenario-3 (75 % reduction) could
result in savings of 57.8 kt and 86.7 kt, respectively.
New indicators are urgently needed because re-
search shows that spatial localization in general and
minimized food miles in particular are not adequate or
even required for most of the goals of alternative food
systems (Cleveland et al., 2015).
Local food and sustainability
Leff (2009) commented that the slogan “thinking
globally and acting locally”, so tenaciously promoted by
the discourse of sustainable development, has been a
ruse to induce in local cultures the unique thought and
background knowledge of the economic rationality of
a hegemonic world in which “other worlds” don’t fit.
However, the challenges of sustainability and democ-
racy, of entropy and otherness, open the siege of global-
ized unique thinking and move it towards local singu-
larities, leading to the construction of an idea capable
of amalgamating the power of the real (ecology) and the
meaning of the symbolic (culture).
Consuming only locally produced food does not
guarantee the ecological sustainability of our agricul-
tural systems. Thus, the place where our food is grown
brings no assurances of the methods used to produce the
food and the subsequent impact of these methods on the
environment and biodiversity (McWilliams, 2010). If lo-
cal agriculture and food is to be truly beneficial, it is im-
portant that local agriculture conserves the biodiversity
of the agro-ecosystem. Thus, it is the role of sustainable
agriculture to contribute to the conservation of organ-
isms that play important activities such as pollination
and pest control (Philpott et al., 2014).
For many consumers, the term “local” conjures
up images of environmentally friendly, small farms and
local properties. However, it is worth considering that
these images are not implicit in standard definitions. If
local farms are using industrial farming methods that
include widespread use of agrochemicals this practice
will have negative impacts on biodiversity (Kimbrell,
2002). Furthermore, the indiscriminate use of pesticides
can also have strong negative impacts on the local com-
munity and on local agricultural workers. A representa-
tive example of this would be the strawberries produced
in Watsonville, California, which is only 20 miles (32.1
km) from Santa Cruz, CA. Conventional strawberry
production requires a large amount of soil fumigants in-
cluding methyl bromide, which destroys ozone in the
stratosphere. Conventional strawberry production im-
pairs biodiversity, destroys soil microbiota, and causes
pesticide drift to loom over neighboring towns and
schools (Reeves et al., 2002). These strawberries may be
considered local food, if consumed in Santa Cruz, but
are they produced in a sustainable way? Do the produc-
tion methods used ensure the protection of biodiversity
and maintain the health of rural workers? These ques-
tions suggest that a beyond “local” perspective and ap-
proach is needed in order to combine both sustainable
agriculture and local economic benefits. If we consume
a local product that degrades the local environment, we
are actually condemning the place where we live for a
purpose that is not desired.
One alternative is the consumption of local and
organic food Badgley et al. (2006) estimate that organic
methods could produce enough food on a global per cap-
ita basis to sustain the current human population, and
potentially an even larger population, without increas-
ing the area under cultivation. The authors also evalu-
ated the amount of nitrogen that can be fixed by legumi-
nous cover crops used as fertilizer. The results indicate
that organic agriculture has the potential to substantially
contribute to the global food supply and reduce the envi-
ronmental impacts of conventional agriculture. Howev-
er, certification of organic food is rooted in social, legal
and bureaucratic institutions that often accentuate tra-
ditional economic inequalities between companies and
countries. Onerous and expensive organic certification
requirements create significant barriers to entry of poor
farmers in the southern countries in this niche market.
Furthermore, certification promotes the concentration
of production in the hands of large corporate produc-
ers. Large corporate retailers also benefit from organic
certification, as it facilitates their control over suppliers
(Raynolds, 2004).
Agriculture can be a major consumer of fossil fu-
els during production and input application phases but
the amount of carbon emitted varies greatly depending
on the methods of production, food processing and mar-
keting processes (Edwards-Jones et al., 2008).
Grain crop systems based on soil tillage result in
high emissions of CO2, combined with huge soil losses.
Coelho et al. Local food
Sci. Agric. v.75, n.1, p.84-94, January/February 2018
In Brazil, the no-till system is widely used in order to
combat soil erosion by water. In addition, this soil man-
agement technique leads to the accumulation of soil car-
bon stocks and provides high crop yields for many years
(Machado, 2005). Nunes et al. (2011) evaluated the ef-
fect of soil management systems based on tillage, cover
crops and P fertilization on C and N stocks in physical
fractions of the soil organic matter and microbial bio-
mass in an Oxisol soil in Brazil after 11 years of soybean-
maize rotation (Glycine max-Zea mays). Phosphorus fer-
tilization led to accumulation of organic C and N in the
soil, regardless of tillage and cover crop systems. Higher
stocks of organic C and N and higher microbial biomass
were found under no-till compared with conventional
tillage. The conversion rate of C added to the soil by
crops in organic C was 4, 8 and 14 % for conventional
tillage and no-till systems with pearl millet (Pennisetum
glaucum) and velvet bean (Mucuna aterrima), respective-
ly. Also in an Oxisol soil, Corazza et al. (1999) found
that soils under no-till management sequestered 21.4
Mg ha–1 of CO2 and emitted 8.3 Mg ha–1 of CO2 result-
ing in net carbon accumulation in the soil. Similarly, the
use of more ecological cropping systems instead of the
traditional fallow/maize systems was an efficient tool for
storing soil organic matter and increasing the sequestra-
tion of agricultural carbon and, therefore, mitigate the
greenhouse effect. Amado et al. (2001) found that rota-
tion of maize and velvet bean, grown for eight years re-
sulted in the sequestration of 15.5 Mg ha–1 of CO2, while
the fallow and maize rotation resulted in net emissions
of 4.32 Mg ha–1 of CO2.
Another way to ensure quality of food is through
participatory certification, where the organization's own
farmers and consumers make it possible to perform the
certification of products (Radomsky, 2009). This is an ef-
fective way to encourage local organic production with
quality and independence. In the United States, local
food organizations are doing an excellent job in promot-
ing the movement of consumption of locally produced
food. However, it is interesting that such organizations
also work to support sustainable food production tech-
niques in order to protect both the local and global eco-
systems. Agricultural ecological production methods
based on intercropping, crop rotation, biological pest
control, trap cropping, and other methods ensure great-
er protection of biodiversity (Altieri, 1999; Harvey et al.,
2008) and may reduce carbon emissions (Lin et al., 2012)
while protecting the local and global environments.
It is important to consider that there is great varia-
tion in the forms or the technologies involved in food
production between from farm to farm, especially the
amount of carbon emitted or sequestered.
Urban agriculture
In recent years urban agriculture has strengthened
production in many parts of the world. Here, food is
both produced and usually consumed locally in cities
and in the suburbs of cities. These urban green spaces,
including backyard gardens, have the potential to pro-
vide families with a more affordable alternative for im-
proving their diet and for supplementing their income
from the sales of surplus food grown. Eichemberg and
Amorozo (2013) evaluated the consumption of fruits
and vegetables, which are partly supplied by homegar-
dens in Rio Claro, SP, southeastern Brazil. The authors
found that spices and teas consumed by the families
interviewed were obtained from homegardens, reveal-
ing its importance in food consumption and health pro-
motion. However, among 98 species found in homegar-
dens, only 38 % appeared in the diet of the respondents,
which indicates an under-utilization of crops in these
homegardens. The study concluded that the main role of
homegardens is to provide variation in the diet, which
contributes to the consumption of different types of
Urban agriculture is commonly discussed as a
sustainable solution for dealing with gaps in the local
food system, and proponents often highlight the many
social, environmental, and economic benefits (Cook et
al., 2015). The Amazon region in northern Brazil consist-
ing of nine states is currently an area of increasing urban
concentration as a result of economic development, and
70 % of its population now live in urban areas. New
migrants to cities continue to rely on self-provisioning,
especially through growing food in urban homegardens,
to meet their food needs. For example, the maintenance
of urban homegardens in Santarém, in the state of Pará,
helps new urban migrants to survive in a highly devel-
oped, highly populated city by providing a part of the
food directly through local production (WinklerPrins
and Souza, 2005).
The expansion of urban agriculture assists in re-
ducing GHG emissions not only by producing food but
also by reducing the amount of food transported from
farming areas and thus reduces the food mileage. For
example, if Seoul, South Korea, implemented urban ag-
riculture in a 51 km2 area, it would be possible to reduce
CO2 emissions by 11 million kg annually. This numerical
value is the same amount of CO2 absorbed annually by
20 km2 of pine forests and 10 km2 of oak tree forests that
are 20 years old (Lee et al., 2015). Thus, urban forms of
agriculture have the potential to mitigate climate change
impacts especially in highly developed urban areas.
Machado and Machado (2002) commented that
public policies aimed at encouraging and implement-
ing urban agriculture can promote the local develop-
ment of the peripheries of large cities. In addition, by
redirecting community goals, through participatory ac-
tion in all development processes, it is possible to offer
healthy life choices for young people and children as
well as generate jobs and improve the quality of life of
the elderly or the unemployed. The production of good
quality nutritional and pesticide-free food, developed
at relatively low cost, can contribute not only to im-
proving the quality of life, but also to increasing family
Coelho et al. Local food
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Farmers and local food commerce
Many farmers who live in the countryside have
difficulty in locally marketing their products. This is due
to several factors such as inadequate visual quality stan-
dards imposed by the market, lack of community orga-
nization, or a lack of consistency in production. Lima
Filho et al. (2012) analyzed purchase of fruit and veg-
etable policies in supermarkets in Campo Grande, in the
Brazilian midwest. Interviews were conducted with rep-
resentatives of small and medium markets and large su-
permarkets. Large supermarkets most frequently source
vegetables and fruits from other states, while small and
medium-sized markets source more from local produc-
ers. For the supermarket, fruit and vegetables produced
locally are fresher and have a lower cost; however, the
low dependability of supply and the lack of variety of-
fered by local producers are considered unsatisfactory
points. Certainly, better organization of local farmers
would help in maintaining the supply of agricultural
products with greater regularity and diversity.
A major obstacle to localization is the lack of eco-
nomic, organizational and physical structures on the ap-
propriate scale for local aggregation and distribution of
food. Local food hubs are emerging as an important tool
for overcoming this obstacle by pooling food products
from a number of smaller farms and delivering them to
grocery stores, schools, hospitals and restaurants (Cleve-
land et al., 2014). Alternative Food Networks (AFNs)
have arisen with the potential to re-connect the differ-
ent participants in local food systems (Cicatiello et al.,
2015). Another local agriculture revitalization strategy
is the Farmers' Markets (FMs). These markets have
emerged and/or grown in northern countries, as an im-
portant place of engagement for producers, consumers
and producers of local foods. However, FMs are seen as
a complex and ambiguous space where the local notions
of quality, authenticity and legitimacy find expression in
communications and transactions around food (Smith-
ers et al., 2008). A recent empirical analysis involving
sellers, buyers and managers in 15 markets in Ontario,
Canada sought to understand how participants “read”
the market as a breathing space and then build the terms
of (their) “engagement” (Cicatiello et al., 2015). The au-
thors found that FM customers wish to support Ontario
farmers and agriculture and, therefore, direct their ex-
penditures to FM food. Furthermore, consumers make
purchases at FMs with an expectation that they may
get other benefits from local consumption. For example,
consumers have the ability to not only know the origin
of their food by purchasing at a market that only allows
food from a specific area, but they also have the oppor-
tunity to meet the farmer/producer, learn about how the
food was produced, and establish long-lasting relation-
ships between consumers and farmers/producers. These
relationships related to food production, trade, and con-
sumption can create a sense of cooperation and com-
munity (Cicatiello et al., 2015). However, these values
and benefits can vary and be context-dependent, as, al-
though the notion of “local” can be highly valued, its in-
terpretation in meaning and degree of importance varies
greatly from consumer group to consumer group.
In conclusion, the key to FM success in the move-
ment lies in the ability and motivation of participants to
prioritize social and environmental over just economic
goals (Cleveland et al., 2014).
Local food quality
In comparing the nutritional quality of local and
non-local foods, one popular assumption is that local
food is often more nutritious because items are fresher.
Edwards-Jones et al. (2008) considered the nutritional
quality of local and non-local food in their review. They
purport that if consumers buy products from a farm af-
ter a few hours of harvesting, it is expected that their
nutritional quality will be high. However, if quality is
related to the smallest time interval between harvesting
and consumption, then it should be noted that food pro-
duced at great distances, as in the case of products grown
in Kenya, may also be available for sale in some parts
of northern Europe within 24 h after harvest. For this
reason, it is not possible to state categorically that fruit
and vegetables produced locally will always be of bet-
ter nutritional quality than products from further afield.
Quality depends on how they were grown, and the type
of post-harvest process they have undergone. Thus, the
authors concluded that the characteristics of cultivation,
processing and storage are certainly more important in
determining the quality of fruits and vegetables than the
distance between producer and consumer.
It is also worth considering the issue of mass pub-
lic opinion regarding which foods should be eaten. With
the advent of fast food chains there was a sharp increase
in advertisements displaying certain products as being
more tasty and cheaper, and as a result, this generally
discouraged people (especially younger generations)
from buying fresh produce, some of which was locally
Frequent consumption of “fast food” has strong
positive associations with weight gain and insulin resis-
tance, and eating “fast food” increases the risk of obesity
and type 2 diabetes (Pereira et al., 2005). On the other
hand, Salois (2012) found that the greater the number of
smaller local food retail outlets in a location, the lower
the rate of obesity and diabetes in that location. The au-
thor assumes that this is due to the possibility of encour-
aging better and healthier food choices. Thus, increasing
the availability and affordability of healthy foods are
key strategies to improving diet and health (Budd et al.,
2015). With respect to obesity, Hamilton et al. (2014) be-
lieve that urban agriculture, with local food production,
shows particularly significant potential for stifling the
obesity epidemic.
In a number of regions, the composition of nutri-
ent data of fruit and vegetables of local food are being
formulated by health professionals such as physicians
and nutritionists in order to enhance recommendations
Coelho et al. Local food
Sci. Agric. v.75, n.1, p.84-94, January/February 2018
for consumption of locally produced food. In several
places, many local food products (e.g. pequi [Caryocar
brasiliense] in Brazil, paterna [Inga paterno] in El Salva-
dor, Kulãkula [Syzyginus guineense] in Angola) are not in-
cluded in nutrient data compositions of foods in books
studied at university. Thus, physicians and nutrition-
ists are unlikely to recommend such products to their
patients. Yet, in a number of locations, to know the nu-
trient composition can be powerful tools for promoting
local food systems. For example, the West African food
composition tables (FCT) allow users to treat health prob-
lems related to diet, and to strengthen local development
and encourage biodiversity. In addition, the preparation
of these nutrient composition listings contributes to a re-
duction in poverty in rural and urban areas (Stadlmayr
et al., 2013). Samuda (2003) reported that in 1995, the
Regional Data Center for food composition activities in
the English-speaking Caribbean (CARICOMFOODS) was
established. The geographical area represented by CARI-
COMFOODS covers 18 territories scattered throughout
the Caribbean basin. The compositions of 1,000 kinds of
local food are described in these tables.
The use of the nutrient content of local foods is
very important in the development of local food. Many
universities in the South used books published in the
North in their nutrition and medicine courses. These
academic standards led to an overvaluation of diets that
contained food produced in the North at the expense of
local food from the South.
Protection of local food
The maintenance of genetic diversity within lo-
cal food plants and products has also been discussed
at length. For example, Mexico is the center of origin
and diversity of maize (Zea mays L.), with great ge-
netic wealth. Maize comes in different colors, textures
and amylopectin and amylose content in their starch
(Sandhu et al., 2004). Each type of maize can be used
for cooking specific foods and these foods are tradition-
ally used in their places of origin. The preservation of
the genetic biodiversity of maize will lead to the pres-
ervation of local foods. Moreover, maize in this region
is the major local food. Thus, the protection of the ge-
netic integrity of local varieties of maize is of paramount
importance. However, with the increase in the use of
transgenic maize, the genetic purity of this local food
is being threatened. Quist and Chapela (2001) reported
the presence of transgenic DNA in native Creole maize
populations grown in the remote mountains in Oaxaca,
Mexico, which is part of the Mesoamerican center of
origin and diversification of culture. The transgenic
DNA in Creole maize samples, indicates the occurrence
of multiple introgressions probably mediated by pol-
lination. As pollination in maize occurs mainly on the
wind, the pollen of transgenic plants can pollinate native
plants and contaminate natural DNA with transgenic
DNA. Further, Lopez (2011) assessed the existence of
a relationship between the presence of transgenes and
the appearance of new abnormal phenotypes in maize
in five communities in Oaxaca. Leaf tissue was sampled
from 500 native corn plants with abnormal phenotypes
and 500 native corn plants with normal phenotypes.
Transgene presence was observed in at least 18 % of all
the plants sampled; the Cry1Ab protein was the most
frequently encountered (of the three tested). In addition,
there was a significantly higher frequency of recombi-
nant proteins in abnormal phenotypes (117/500) com-
pared with normal phenotypes (62/500)(Lopez, 2011).
This gene flow is not the only possible environmental
impact. Overall damages to crops, wild relatives, pesti-
cides, and the wider ecosystem are another result. For
instance, herbicide resistant organisms stimulate the use
of herbicides, antibiotic resistant species create health
risks, and genetic engineering in monocrop agriculture
promote erosion and the spreading of disease. On the
other hand, we must recognize the important role of bio-
diversity conservation achieved by small farmers in the
South. This is critical, as the southern countries contain
most of the world’s biodiversity both in terms of the
variety and species of crops that are used as food (or
agrobiodiversity) (Harvey et al., 2008).
Local food and humanitarian aid
Another important issue to be addressed is the de-
velopment of local food in disaster situations. Humani-
tarian aid work, in times of major disasters, demonstrates
the mutual aid capacity that nations have when facing
dire situations. Much aid food is donated, and shipped
from far-away locations to disaster zones. Yet, in these
situations the development of local food can be a lever
for the resumption of development. Harou et al. (2013)
conducted case studies of food assistance programs in
disasters in Burkina Faso, in North Africa and Guatema-
la, Central America. The authors concluded that there
could be a 63 % reduction in costs if the food were to
be purchased locally or nearby. Thus, given the size of
the program, the same funds could potentially provide
another three months of daily rations for approximately
20,000 people. The authors comment that, furthermore,
given the capacity of planning in advance and the fea-
sibility of providing local food where possible, prior-
ity would be given to acquiring food from local small
agriculturalists. Lentz et al. (2013) generated estimates
of timeliness and cost-effectiveness, comparing three
forms of aid in cases of national disaster. They are: US
transoceanic food aid shipments, local or regional food
purchases funded by the US, and cash aid. The study
was conducted in nine countries over the same period.
The authors concluded that the local purchasing of food
or distribution of cash or vouchers would result in time
savings of about 14 weeks and an average economic gain
of 62 %. If only the grains were to be bought locally
there would be, on average, a savings of 50 %.
Local purchase of food, in addition to offering eco-
nomic savings,would stimulate the resumption of local
Coelho et al. Local food
Sci. Agric. v.75, n.1, p.84-94, January/February 2018
The promotion of “local food” is a complex issue
which incorporates the realms of environment, economy
and health on both the local and the greater national and
international scales. Governments should have strategies
in place to promote and strengthen the local food trade
as much as they have historically for the export market.
Transportation is only one aspect of an assessment of the
life cycle from agricultural production to consumption
and local production does not always equate to lower
GHG emissions or to sustainable food production. Thus,
whether the methods used for agricultural production
are conventional or organic, and whether production oc-
curred in a field or, for example, in a greenhouse with
temperature control through the use of fossil fuels are
factors that must be considered when evaluating local
food efficiency and sustainability. Consuming only lo-
cally produced food does not guarantee the ecological
sustainability of our agricultural systems.
Urban agriculture has the potential to provide
families with a low-cost alternative for diet improve-
ment and to supplement their income from sales of sur-
plus food grown. It also provides families the ability to
grow foods that are culturally relevant. In addition, pur-
chasing local foods at Farmers’ Markets gives consumers
the ability to discover where their food comes from and
who is producing it, and with that knowledge, a certain
assurance about the production methods on-farm.
The use and understanding of the nutrient com-
position of local foods is very important in the develop-
ment of local food. Many universities in the southern
countries have used books produced in the North in
their nutrition and medicine courses. These academic
standards have led to an overvaluation of diets that con-
tain food produced in the North at the expense of local
food from the South. Thus, there is a need to integrate
local knowledge into the evaluating process of nutrition-
al benefits and locale-based values of local food.
Protecting the maintenance of the genetic purity
of local food has also been much discussed. We must
recognize the important role played in the conservation
achieved by small farmers in the South, because it con-
tains most of the biodiversity of the world both in vari-
ety and species that are used for food.
Another important issue to be addressed is the de-
velopment of local food in disaster situations. Given the
capacity of planning in advance and the feasibility of
providing local food where possible, priority would be
given to acquire food from local small agriculturalists.
In addition to these aspects, the local purchase of food
would result in the resumption of local development.
In conclusion, we need more data that can pro-
vide information on the environmental, economical and
health impacts resulting from the consumption of local-
ly produced food compared to those produced far from
the place of consumption. Research on this topic has
been and remains limited (Edwards-Jones et al., 2008).
However, in general, the consumption of local foods,
produced in ways adapted to the local environment and
the use of technologies with ecological conditions, is cer-
tainly one positive factor in promoting improvements to
the health of the environment, the economy and society
in general.
We would like to thank CAPES – the agency for
the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Level
Personnel for funding the sabbatical of Fábio Cunha
Coelho and Enilce Maria Coelho in UCSC – Universi-
ty of California Santa Cruz making this study possible.
We would like to extend our thanks to Professor Stacy
Philpott, CASFS - Center for Agroecology & Sustain-
able Food Systems, the Ant Labs group of UCSC. I also
thank the Lab. of Phytotechnology, especially Professor
Sílvio de Jesus Freitas, of the State University of North
Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF), for their support in
this work and a special thanks to my son André Fialho
Coelho for the English review.
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... Producing local food is an important way for a community to implement a sustainable economy, but also social sustainability [6,16]. To add to the sustainability benefit, numerous countries (i.e.,: US, UK) encourage consumers to buy local food, as it has an impact on economic growth, as well as environmental and social benefits [17,18]. For example, Coelho and al. suggested that when food is produced with the appropriate technologies considering the region, local production of food has a positive impact on the environment, the economy, as well as the society [18]. ...
... To add to the sustainability benefit, numerous countries (i.e.,: US, UK) encourage consumers to buy local food, as it has an impact on economic growth, as well as environmental and social benefits [17,18]. For example, Coelho and al. suggested that when food is produced with the appropriate technologies considering the region, local production of food has a positive impact on the environment, the economy, as well as the society [18]. ...
... When energy costs rise, local procurement tends to be advantaged [43]. The importance of local food systems, as shown by previous studies, is in providing access to healthy, affordable food, while also supporting the economic development of the region [6,7,18]. Considering the current economic context, this can be achieved through a variety of strategies, such as supporting local farmers and food producers, investing in infrastructure and distribution networks, promoting sustainable agriculture, and creating opportunities for economic development. ...
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The price of food has been affected in recent months in response to events such as the war in Ukraine, energy costs, inflation, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change. Indeed, supply problems, as well as the repercussions of global issues, have had an impact on grocery bills. Just between September and October 2022, the price of food increased by 11.4% and 11% year-to-year. In addition, with the pandemic, buying locally has become a key factor for some in choosing which products to consume. This second edition of the report aims to answer the question Does eating local in Quebec cost more? More precisely, our objective was to identify if local products in the food sector, especially in Quebec, were competitive in their price points compared to foods coming from other regions of the world. To answer this, we used AI and machine learning to harvest data from 99 local products and 335 comparable nonlocal products, totaling 198,990 data points and 3745 prices across six data collection dates. The results showed that a total of 25 categories displayed an advantage for the local product or a neutrality, out of a total of 45 categories identified. Our results demonstrated that 55.6% of the categories that contained the local foods analyzed were price competitive with comparable products or less expensive than them.
... Short food supply chains (SFCSs) have emerged as sustainable solutions to address the food system's recent and future sustainability concerns, including food sovereignty, which is the ability for citizens to access nutritious, local, and sustainably produced foods to include in their diets (Matacena and Corvo, 2020;Doernberg et al., 2022). Although the definition of SFSCs may vary, they generally describe the distance between where food is grown/produced and consumed or primary production and final consumption (Coelho et al., 2018;Majewski et al., 2020). SFCSs are being popularized as a sustainable alternative (Benos et al., 2022) or complement (Thomé et al., 2021) to conventional, long food supply chains. ...
... Short food supply chains: Conceptualization and current practices Malak-Rawlikowska et al. (2019) provide three-proximity criteria to define SFSCs. First, SFSCs must have close geographical proximity from where food is produced to where it will be consumed, and this is measured using food miles (Coelho et al., 2018;Malak-Rawlikowska et al., 2019). The second proximity is organizational, meaning the number of actors within the chain should consist of one or no intermediaries between the initial producer and the end consumer (Chiffoleau et al., 2016). ...
... The later description lacks specifics of the proximities, such as the distance of food miles for geographical proximity, as well as the level of the relationships created between producer and end consumer for social proximity (Marsden et al., 2002;Malak-Rawlikowska et al., 2019). Though other research has suggested that local food or SFSCs can achieve geographical proximity by traveling a few miles within the city or state or even traveling up to 400 miles (Martinez, 2010;Coelho et al., 2018). ...
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How food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed significantly impacts the sustainability of food supply chains. Short food supply chains (SFSCs) have been promoted as an alternative approach to offer sustainable solutions. However, empirical studies provide mixed evidence, and the findings greatly vary based on context. This study explores the social, economic, and environmental sustainability practices in Atlantic Canada's SFSCs from the perspective of farm businesses (producers). A semi-structured survey was conducted among 64 farmers/producers who participated in Atlantic Canadian SFSCs. Participants were asked what channel they used to sell their products and how far this location is in comparison to the production location if sold to an intermediary, how they believe they could better to improve the sustainability of their production methods, what barriers stood in their way of implementation, and how supply chain supporters could help achieve their sustainability goals. The findings show that most farm businesses linked to SFCSs have applied ecologically sound production methods such as organic farming, IPM, or other sustainable practices, including regenerative agriculture and no-till farming. Over two-thirds of farm businesses applied sustainable practices such as pasture rotations, green fertilizers, low-carbon couriers, locally sourced inputs, and compostable or recyclable packaging materials. Farm businesses in the Atlantic Provinces highly value the social sustainability of SFSCs, followed by economic and environmental sustainability. Most farm businesses linked to SFSCs were robust to supply- and demand-side shocks, registered a low number of layoffs and fast recovery of operations, and increased their profits during COVID-19 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. Yet, several barriers remain, the most important ones being high capital costs and longer payback periods. Other barriers include inconsistent inter-provincial trading restrictions, lack of qualified workers and shrinking agricultural land base. SFSCs in Atlantic Canadian SFSCs have implemented several sustainable practices in their production and distribution systems. Most of the farm businesses linked to SFSCs are small, are focused on specific product groups, target small towns or rural areas, and rely on direct-on farm sales to individual customers, and thus can play a crucial role by complementing longer food supply chains. By taking SFSCs in Atlantic Provinces as a case, this study expands our understanding of recent efforts and challenges local producers face to adopt sustainable practices in their production and distribution systems.
... The meaning of "local" should be explained in terms of the link between a community tradition and a geographical area rather than in terms of food miles [6] as the choice of local products or "food miles" is not sufficient to ensure ecologically sustainable food consumption [5,6]. The mode of transport is as important as the distance, with sourcing from close geographical areas resulting in emissions greater than those from farther geographical areas [7,8]. ...
... However, transportation is not the only factor that determines how environmental efficient it is to consume local food. Overall, the consumption of local food adapted to the local environment and the use of eco-technologies is certainly a encouraging factor in improving environmental health and sustainability [8]. Reducing food waste can also contribute positively towards multiple sustainable development goals [9]. ...
Reducing the environmental impact of cattle production is best achieved by increasing production efficiency, followed by processing and distribution. Integrated and intensified systems of beef and dairy farms offer both a high productivity and high profitability model that is best suitable for commercial commodity systems and also for small farmers. This approach to environmental assessment is necessary to avoid the risk of suboptimal solutions, as the two systems are highly interrelated.
... Major challenges that limit the development of livestock value chains in developing countries are poor infrastructure (roads and marketing networks), which often increase the transaction costs of smallholder market participation [7] . In these regards, locally produced foods potentially offer social, environmental, and economic benefits [8] , as they may contribute to improved economic viability of local communities, better nutrition through fresh produce, and strengthened consumer-producer relationships. ...
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The SAVA region, located in north-eastern Madagascar, is a global hotspot of vanilla production. Here, soaring vanilla prices over the past 7 years, the so-called “vanilla boom”, improved the socio-economic situation of the farming population, which may change dietary patterns towards higher meat consumption and offer an opportunity for regional livestock producers. This paper therefore investigates if the vanilla boom opened new market opportunities to local stakeholders by targeting 81 livestock producers, 23 butchers and 34 retailers involved in the supply chain of live animals and animal products in the region. Starting from regular food markets of three major cities and three villages, data on animal and meat sales in and outside the vanilla selling season (July-September) was collected. Information on opportunities and challenges faced by different stakeholders was recorded, and the determination of the geographical location of markets, animal and product origins served the compilation of foodsheds. Results revealed that local livestock producers are mostly supplying poultry while butchers are exclusively selling zebu cattle and pigs. Zebus and eggs are completely sourced from neighbouring as well as distant regions to meet the huge local demand, while poultry and pigs are mostly supplied by regional producers. Animal sales volumes increase during the vanilla selling season, due to a temporarily enhanced regional purchasing power based on cash income from vanilla sales. Although the high demand motivates local and more remote producers to intensify their livestock activities, livestock diseases, lack of appropriate animal management and market information hamper their endeavours. Transparent and timely market information flow, training of livestock producers as well as investments in transportation and marketing infrastructure could support the development of the local livestock sector and improve the local supply with animal source food in the SAVA region.
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Bu çalışmanın amacı, turistlerin yerel mutfak yeme eğilimleri ile unutulmaz turizm deneyimleri arasındaki ilişkiyi değerlendirmek ve bu konuda mevcut literatürdeki bilgi eksikliğine katkıda bulunmaktır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, öncelikle detaylı literatür taraması sunulmuş, ardından araştırma sorularına yer verilmiştir. Alan araştırması kapsamında veri toplama aracı olarak anket yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Birincil veriler, 1-30 Kasım 2022 tarihleri arasında, bizzat araştırmacılar tarafından anketi doldurmaya gönüllü ve yiyecek içecek işletmeleri ile konaklama işletmelerinin restoranlarından hizmet alan toplam 329 ziyaretçiden yüz yüze ve bırak-topla yöntemleri kullanılarak toplanmıştır. Kolayda örnekleme tekniği kullanılarak toplanan bu veriler, tanımlayıcı istatistikler, faktör, korelasyon ve regresyon analizleri, bağımsız örneklem t-testi ve ANOVA gibi analizlerle analiz edilmiştir. Araştırmanın en çarpıcı bulgusu turistlerin yerel mutfak yeme eğilimleri ile unutulmaz turizm deneyimleri arasında pozitif yönlü bir ilişkinin tespit edilmesidir. Ayrıca turistlerin demografik özelliklerine ve seyahat deneyimlerine göre birtakım farklılıklar da tespit edilmiştir.
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O consumo de alimentos produzidos localmente representa uma tendência alimentar capaz de fortalecer o vínculo entre os locais de consumo e de produção. Este estudo tem o objetivo de avaliar a produção científica internacional sobre a utilização de alimentos locais por chefs de cozinha. A partir da aplicação do método prisma, foram selecionados e analisados 37 estudos, com auxílio do software VOSviewer. A maioria dos estudos utiliza a abordagem qualitativa, cujo foco está nos relacionamentos entre produtores e chefs. Alguns estudos discutem ferramentas para estimular o consumo de alimentos locais, tanto pelos estabelecimentos, quanto pelo consumidor final. Caminhos para o fortalecimento e regularidade do consumo de alimentos locais são apresentados ao longo do artigo. Disponível em:
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In the current era of digitalization, SMEs are required to adapt quickly according to technological developments and increasingly complex consumer needs. . The role of the leader can create a comfortable environment that can encourage increased employee performance to something that contributes to increasing national income in micro, small and large companies. One way to adapt and develop a business that is currently popular is to use social media-based content marketing. The main objective of this research is to determine the role of social media in mediating the influence of leadership on the SME’S performance organization. This study uses a literature and field research design with a quantitative causal approach. Collecting data in the field using a questionnaire measured by several questions related to social media, leadership, and organizational performance. For data analysis using the PLS method and data collection technique using proportionate stratified random sampling.
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Corn is widely used as feed especially poultry. Nevertheless, corn is also a source of local food that can be developed in a food diversification program. The nutrients contained in corn especially carbohydrates, are not inferior compared to rice. Types of corn which potential as local food include glutinous corn and sweet corn. As a local food material, it is necessary to know the level of user preference before it is widely developed. This study aims to determine the level of preference for glutinous corns and sweet corn as local food. The research was conducted in July 2020 in Sigi Regency. The method used is an organoleptic test namely a hedonic test or a preference test for white glutinous corn, purple glutinous corn, and yellow sweet corn. Data analysis was performed using one-way analysis of variance followed by the DMRT test. The results of the analysis showed that there was a significant difference in the color and flavor parameters, while in the texture and aroma parameters were not significantly different. Based on the results of further tests, purple glutinous corn and yellow sweet corn are preferred in terms of color and flavor, so they are recommended to be developed as local food materials in Sigi Regency.
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This comprehensive overview of local food systems explores alternative definitions of local food, estimates market size and reach, describes the characteristics of local consumers and producers, and examines early indications of the economic and health impacts of local food systems. There is no consensus on a definition of —local” or —local food systems” in terms of the geographic distance between production and consumption. But defining —local” based on marketing arrangements, such as farmers selling directly to consumers at regional farmers‘ markets or to schools, is well recognized. Statistics suggest that local food markets account for a small, but growing, share of U.S. agricultural production. For smaller farms, direct marketing to consumers accounts for a higher percentage of their sales than for larger farms. Findings are mixed on the impact of local food systems on local economic development and better nutrition levels among consumers, and sparse literature is so far inconclusive about whether localization reduces energy use or greenhouse gas emissions.
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MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND THE CARBON AND NITROGEN STOCKS OF CERRADO OXISOL UNDER SOYBEAN-MAIZE SUCCESSION Carbon and N stocks in soils are determined by the balance between addition and losses, and tillage and cropping systems are decisive in this process. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of soil management systems based on tillage, cover crops and P fertilization on C and N stocks in physical fractions of the soil organic matter and on microbial biomass and respiration in a soil after 11 years under soybean-maize rotation. The experiment was initiated in 1999 in an Oxisol with adequate level of available P to obtain form 80 to 90 % of potential yields of annual crops. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot design in randomized blocks, with three management systems based on soil tillage and cover crop (conventional tillage with pearl millet, no-tillage with pearl millet and no-tillage with velvet bean) assigned to the main plots and two P levels (0 and 100 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) of P2O5 as triple superphosphate applied at sowing) in subplots. Soil samples were collected at the grain filling stage of soybean (March 2010), from the soil layers 0-5, 5-10 and 10-20 cm, and subjected to physical fractionation of organic matter and microbial analysis. The no-tillage system resulted in stratification of organic C and N while conventional tillage resulted in a more homogeneous distribution in the 0-20 cm layer. Phosphorus fertilization for 11 years led to an accumulation of organic C and N in the soil, regardless of tillage and cover crop systems. Higher stocks of organic C and total N, higher microbial biomass C and lower microbial respiration were found under no-tillage than conventional tillage, both with pearl millet as cover crop. In the no-tillage systems, greater stocks of organic C and total N, similar microbial biomass C and higher microbial respiration were found with pearl millet as cover crop compared to velvet bean. The conversion rate of C added by crops to soil organic C was 4.0, 8.2 and 14.3 % for conventional tillage with pearl millet and no-tillage with pearl millet and with velvet bean, respectively.
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O presente estudo objetiva analisar as formas de compra dos supermercados para o abastecimento de hortaliças em Campo Grande. Foram realizadas treze entrevistas com representantes de supermercados de pequeno, médio e grande porte, responsáveis pelas compras destes produtos. Os resultados revelam que praticamente todo o fornecimento de hortaliças nos grandes supermercados é feito por produtores de outros estados, sendo que os estabelecimentos de pequeno e médio porte ainda conseguem abastecer-se satisfatoriamente com os produtores locais. Para os varejistas, o setor de hortaliças representa importante espaço de geração de tráfego interno de clientes nas lojas, sendo um fator de atração. Pode-se verificar, ainda, que as hortaliças produzidas localmente atendem ao requisito "frescor" e também possuem menor custo comparativo, porém, a regularidade no fornecimento, o volume e a variedade oferecida pelos produtores locais são considerados insatisfatórios.
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The expansion of urban agriculture assists in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions not only by producing food but also by reducing the amount of food transported from farming areas and therefore reducing the food mileage. This study seeks to estimate “the expected GHG reduction effect” in the case of a revitalization of urban agriculture. For this purpose, this study first calculated the area available for urban farming by targeting the metropolitan area of Seoul and then calculated the production per unit area by focusing on “the crops suitable for urban agriculture”. Using this estimated value, the study estimated crop production, the resultant food mileage decrement, and the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that could be obtained if the Seoul metropolis introduced urban agriculture. The results estimated that if the Seoul metropolis implemented urban agriculture in a 51.15 km2 area, it would be possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 11.67 million kg annually. This numerical value is the same amount of CO2 absorbed annually by 20.0 km2 of pine forests and 10.2 km2 of oak tree forests that are 20 years old. From the perspective of GHG reduction effects in the transportation sector, urban agriculture is expected to produce a considerable effect in diverse aspects such as the habituation of green growth, self-sufficiency, and food security.
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Background: Low-income black residents of Baltimore City have disproportionately higher rates of obesity and chronic disease than other Maryland residents. Increasing the availability and affordability of healthy food are key strategies to improve the food environment and can lead to healthier diets. This paper describes B'More Healthy: Retail Rewards (BHRR), an intervention that tests the effectiveness of performance-based pricing discounts and health communications, separately and combined, on healthy food purchasing and consumption among low-income small store customers. Methods/design: BHRR is 2x2 factorial design randomized controlled trial. Fifteen regular customers recruited from each of 24 participating corner stores in Baltimore City were enrolled. Food stores were randomized to 1) pricing intervention, 2) communications intervention, 3) combined intervention, or 4) control. Pricing stores were given a 10-30% price discount on selected healthier food items, such as fresh fruits, frozen vegetables, and baked chips, at the point of purchase from two food wholesale stores during the 6-month trial. Storeowners agreed to pass on the discount to the consumer to increase demand for healthy food. Communications stores received visual and interactive materials to promote healthy items, including signage, taste tests, and refrigerators. Primary outcome measures include consumer food purchasing and associated psychosocial variables. Secondary outcome measures include consumer food consumption, store sales, and associated storeowner psychosocial factors. Process evaluation was monitored throughout the trial at wholesaler, small store, and consumer levels. Discussion: This is the first study to test the impact of performance-based pricing and communications incentives in small food stores, an innovative strategy to encourage local wholesalers and storeowners to share responsibility in creating a healthier food supply by stocking, promoting, and reducing costs of healthier foods in their stores. Local food wholesalers were involved in a top-down, participatory approach to develop and implement an effective and sustainable program. This study will provide evidence on the effectiveness of price incentives and health communications, separately and combined, among a low-income urban U.S. Trial registration: NCT02279849 (2/18/2014).
SOIL CARBON AND THE MITIGATION OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. The soils of the world contain more carbon than the combined total amounts occurring in vegetation and the atmosphere. Hence soils are a major reservoir of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and an important sink. Recently, emphasis has been placed on the need to sequester carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide into soil organic matter because of international concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change. The best strategies to built-up carbon stocks in the soil are basically those that increase the input of organic matter to the soil, and/or decrease the rate of soil organic matter decomposition. Grain crop systems based on soil ploughing and harrowing lead to Co-2 emissions combined with tremendous soil losses. In Brazil, no-tillage system was introduced to combat soil erosion by water and this soil management led to the build-up of soil carbon stocks with simultaneous high crop yields. However, the present procedure used to quantify carbon stocks in soils is laborious and of high cost. The use of infrared spectroscopy is very promising as an alternative low-cost method of soil carbon determination.
Results from an assessment of greenhouse gas emissions during the life-cycle of the carrots and tomatoes consumed in Sweden are presented and discussed. The life-cycle was divided into storage, transportation from producer to retailer, farm production, and the production and transportation of fertilizers. Emissions from carrots were lowest when produced within or close to Sweden, whilst contrary results were obtained for tomatoes. For carrots, emissions during storage and transportation dominated. In the life-cycle of tomatoes, emissions were dominated by those from the combustion of the fuel required for heating greenhouses. The total emissions of greenhouse gases from present consumption patterns for fresh vegetables, in Sweden, were estimated and compared to an assumed Permissible Environmental Space for food consumption. The conclusion drawn is that present patterns of consumption and production for fresh vegetables are unlikely to be sustainable.
This study uses life cycle assessment methodology to quantify the energy use, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and water use of processed tomato products grown, processed, and consumed within the Great Lakes region of the United States, and tomato products produced in California and then shipped to the Great Lakes region for consumption. The purpose is to assess the potential for regional food systems to reduce selected environmental impacts, particularly the energy and GHG footprints, of consumer-ready, processed food products, when compared to national-scale food systems in which consumer products are shipped long distances. The study also examines the role of different types of food processing in influencing life cycle energy use, water use, and emissions. Our results indicate that California-produced conventional and organic tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes are almost equivalent in energy use and GHG emissions to regionally produced and consumed products, but use of developed water resources is significantly higher for California-grown products. California tomato production benefits from higher per hectare yields and soil amendments with lower carbon dioxide emissions. These efficiencies substantially offset the added energy use and GHG emissions associated with long-distance shipment of products to the Great Lakes region, as long as shipments are made by rail rather than by truck. Paste, the more processed and concentrated product evaluated, amplifies any environmental advantages or disadvantages accrued in the field production stage, due to its raw tomato to finished product ratio of 6:1, suggesting that comparative regional advantage can play a role in lowering life cycle environmental impacts of highly condensed foods shipped long distances.
Spatial localization, often demarcated by food miles, has emerged as the dominant theme in movements for more socially just and environmentally benign alternative food systems, especially in industrialized countries such as the United States. We analyze how an emphasis on spatial localization, combined with the difficulty of defining and measuring adequate indicators for alternative food systems, can challenge efforts by food system researchers, environmental writers, the engaged public, and advocacy groups wanting to contribute to alternative food systems, and facilitates exploitation by the mainstream players using “localwash” to maintain the status quo. New indicators are urgently needed because research shows that spatial localization in general and minimized food miles in particular are not adequate or even required for most of the goals of alternative food systems. Creating indicators to operationalize goals for alternative, local food systems requires asking the right questions to make sure indicators are not misleading us: What are the goals of alternative food systems? What actions and policies will most effectively achieve those goals? What is the potential of reducing food miles as an action and a policy for achieving goals? What are the best indicators for measuring progress toward goals? We discuss how these questions can be answered for a wide range of alternative food system goals via four categories according to the role of food miles reduction as an action and policy in promoting them: necessary and sufficient, necessary but not sufficient, potentially important, and potentially supportive.