Local Food Security:
Foodsheds and Food Circles
Submitted in four parts:
The Foodshed and The Food Circle
The Foodshed and The Food Circle, cont
More local food security and food systems info and issues
References and Resources
The foodshed and the food circle are two concepts gaining recognition as models or conceptual frameworks for describing local food systems.
The foodshed concept, most often attributed to Arthur Getz's in his 1991 Urban Foodsheds article in Permaculture Activist , uses the analogy of a watershed to describe 'the area that is defined by a structure of supply'. Getz used the image of a foodshe
Today the Madison, Wisconsin area Foodshed Working Group along with an
active coalition of food coops, csa associations, farmer's markets, producer
coops, bakeries and other food processors, a natural food warehouse/
distributor, UWMadison and other active participants is the best example
of a local food system identifying with the foodshed concept.
The Food Circle is a dynamic, community-based and regionally-integrated food systems concept/model/vision. In effect, it is a systems ecology. In contrast to the current linear producton-consumption system, The Food Circle is a production-consumption-r
The graphic model is a wheel of concentric circles, illustrating how an integrated food system flows from ag inputs and production through consumption and waste recycling. Starting with the individual at the center and moving outward through the family
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Nancy Lee Bentley
The Food Circle
PO Box 3083
Champaign, IL 61826-3083
For an info packet on The Food Circle, including
linear and food circle models and a reprint of
EcoCity Journal's "An Introduction to The Food
Circle, please send $7.95 to the address above.
The Foodshed and The Food Circle, cont.
part 2 of 4
The goal of The Food Circle is to consciously develop networks of sustainable, community- based and regionally-integrated food systems, capable of providing the basic food needs of their members, providing markets for local food and agricultural producers
The beauty of The Food Circle lies in its addressing a host of associated issues, making it adaptable to a broad range of multidisciplinary interests as an organizing vehicle, a teaching model, a community economic development and planning model, even an
This Food Circle is a blueprint which I have been refining and nurturing for a number of years, first publicly used by myself and other organizers of New York's first organic conference, Closing the Food Circle, held at Ithaca in 1984. Since then the c
Several communities, including Kansas City/Columbia, Missouri and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois are developing local food circles. The Kansas City model incorporates a food policy council and membership in a statewide foodsystems task force, including a d
The Champaign-Urbana Food Circle, sprouting shoots in this Silicon Prairie testbed community, is still an informal consortium of csa's, food coop, vegetarian restaurant, farmer's market, farmer's market nutrition coupon project, UIUC, organic/sustainab
One key component of the local food circle operating model is communication. As Food Systems Development Coordinator with U of I , this past year I have been working with the Sustainable Agriculture Network and other groups to develop specialty/organic/
The work takes time, growing organically, for the people must develop
conviction in the ecological basis for the model and then reorient their working or consuming relationships. Barriers abound, from the centralized, technocratic structure of agriculture to consumer obsession with speed and convenience. Likewise, as
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see message 1 for reprints
Nancy Lee Bentley
The Food Circle
PO Box 3083
Champaign, IL 61826-3083
More Local Food Security and Food Systems Development Info and Issues
part 3 of 4
Other approaches to local food security and food systems development have been focused on formation of local/municipal food policy councils. Ken Dahlberg, at the Dept. of Political Science, Western Michigan University, has done extensive research,
In their paper "Community Food Security: A Food Systems Approach
to the 1995 Farm Bill", Andy Fisher and Bob Gottlieb of UCLA's School of Architecture and Urban Planning, brought out key issues to those activists attending the first Community Food Security Coalition's organizational meeting, August 25th, 1994:
"... the concept of food security is often associated with the phenomenon of hunger. However, food security differs from hunger in certain crucial ways. First, food security represents a community need rather than an individual's plight, as with hunger.
non-emergency (conventional) sources at all times.' Second, whereas hunger measures an existing condition of depravation, food security is decidedly prevention-oriented, evaluating the existence of resources -- both community and personal -- to provide
A food security analysis extends .. into an examination of the food system. Questions of equity and sustainability are vital to the development of food security.... A food system offering security should have sustainability such that the ecological syste
Within the organizing framework of these models, local food systems/ community food security can provide a vehicle for coalition-building among those interested in anti-hunger advocacy, sustainable agriculture, nutrition, urban agriculture, local food pol
We are approaching a time of integration, where growing numbers of food, agriculture and other professionals are recognizing the need for an integrated local/regional f ood systems approach to really address, analyze and solve the current challenges i
part 4 of 4
A partial listing of References and Resources on foodsheds, food circles,
community food security and local food systems issues and information.
An Introduction to The Food Circle: A Stewardship 'Technology'
for the New Paradigm, by Nancy Lee Bentley, EcoCity Journal,
Winter 1994. available from The Food Circle.
Community Food Security: A Food Systems Approach to the 1995 Farm
Bill, by Andy Fisher and Robert Gottlieb, UCLA , for The Community
Food Security Coalition.
Food for the Future: Conditions and Contradictions of Sustainability,
edited by Patricia Allen, 1993. New York, John Wiley.
Defining Sustainable Communities, Report from the Conference, June 2-4,
1994, $5.00 from Neighborhood Funders Group, 1001 South Marshall Street,
Suite 55, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27101; 910-724-9070.
Food Policy Councils: The Experience of Five Cities and One County,
by Kenneth Dahlberg, Paper presented to the Joint Meeting of the Agri-
culture, Food and Human Values Society and the Society for the Study of
Food and Society, Tucson, AZ, June 1994
Hendrix College Project. by Melissa Beck Yazman, available from
Gary Valen, Hendrix College, Conway, AR 72032.
Local Food Systems: Policies and Values Influencing their Potential,
by Kenneth Dahlberg, 1993. National Science Foundation supported
project, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
Planting the Future: Developing an Agriculture that Sustains Land
and Community, edited by Ann R. Bird, Gordan L. Bultena, and
John C. Gardner. 1995. available from Iowa State University Press,
2121 S. State Avenue, Ames, IA 50014-8300.
Regional Food Guidance: A Tool for a Sustainable Food System, by
Jennifer Wilkens, Presented at the joint meeting of the Association
for the Study of Food and Nutrition and the Agriculture, Food and
Human Values Society, Tucson, AZ, May 1994.
Sustainable Community Values Project Preliminary Report, Workshop
presentation by Verna Kragnes and others, Eating Closer to Home CSA
Conference, Dec. 1994. University of Wisconsin, River Falls.
The Community Food Security Empowerment Act, January 1995, available
from The Community Food Security Coalition c/o Hartford Food System.
Urban Foodsheds, by Arthur Getz. 1991, Permaculture Activist:
Vol VII, No.3.
The Community Food Security Coalition; Mark Winne, c/o the Hartford
Food System, 509 Wethersfield Ave. Hartford, CT 06114. 203-296-9325;
Andy Fisher, Robert Gottlieb, UCLA Department of Urban Planning,
405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095 310-825-1067; 310-206-5566 fax
Kate Fitzgerald, Nessa Richman, Sustainable Food Center, 1715 East
Sixth St., Suite 200, Austin, TX 78702; (512) 472-2073; (512) 472-2075 fax; firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Dahlberg, Local Food Systems Project;, Department of Political
Science, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008,
(616) 387- 5686; (616) 387-3999 fax
Anne deMeurisse, Minnesota Food Project, 2395 University Avenue,
Saint Paul, MN 55114. (612) 644-2038.
Kate Clancy, Department of Nutrition and Food Managerment, 034 Slocum
Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York; 13244-1250; (315) 443- 4554.
Robert L. Wilson, consultant to City of Knoxville Food Policy Council,
(615)-588-7168. or Gail Harris, City of Knoxville, Food Policy Council,
PO Box 51650, Knoxville, TN 37950-1650. (615)-546-3500.
Sally Leong, Foodshed Working Group, 793A Russell Laboratories,
UW-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (608) 262-5309
Nancy Lee Bentley, The Food Circle, The Food Circle Network, PO Box 3083,
Champaign, IL, 61826-3083, (217)-586-3846, email@example.com
for a packet of informational material including graphic linear and Food Circle models and a reprint of the Eco-City Journal "An Introduction to The Food Circle" article, send $7.95 to The Food Circle.
Ben Kjelsus, The Food Circle Project, 7121 Park Road, Kansas City, MO 64129. (816) 924-3003.
Verna Kragnes, Philadelphia Community Farm, Box 668, Osceola, WI 54020; (715) 294-3136.
Rod MacRae, Toronto Food Policy Council, 277 Victoria Street, Toronto,
Ontario Canada M5B 1W1 416-392-1107: 416-392-1357 fax