AnnotatedBibliography on Local Food: Estimating Capacity
Timmons, D., Wang, Q., & Lass, D. (2008). Local Food: EstimatingCapacity. Journal Extension, 46(5), 5-7.
The three authors offer honest advice on what can be done to estimatethe capacity of local food. The article starts by disclosing thatalthough local food is attracting and relishing much interest in manyparts of the United States, ample data reveals that the extent ofproduction and consumption of local food is typically lacking. Manyregions of the US have experienced an upsurge in the interest oflocal foods as noted by the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture),the fast growing farmers markets and other entities who purchase fooddirectly from farmers. From the article, it is worth noting that thegovernment has initiated and implemented hundreds of projects thatpromote consumption and use of local foods. The authors are quick tonote that despite the rapid growth in the interest in local food bythe population, very little information is present on ways to measurethe amount of local food present in any region or place. With suchinformation unavailable, the authors argue that it is somehowdifficult to evaluate the opportunities that exist for local food, toset the goals or measure any visible changes. The article demandsthat more studies about regional food self-reliance need to beundertaken and the first step to doing this will be to identify andfind meaningful indicators and methods of measurements. The authorspropose a two-part method that will help in estimating the capacityof local food. The article goes on to illustrate using valid figures,ways of calculating the national benchmark of consumption of food. Inthe next step, the article makes a comparison between localproduction and consumption. In conclusion, the authors assert thatalthough it is almost impossible to gauge the exact amount of foodconsumed in a given place is grown there, the methods described inthis article show reasonable estimates. The authors are categoricalthat the growing interest of consumers in local food gives farmersnew opportunities and also brings about or attracts a demand for newinformation and aid from extension professionals. They agree thatpaying attention to indicators of local food consumption andproduction are important for developing fruitful and outstandinglocal food programs.