A sustainable community food system, as defined by the University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP), is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place. Some key features include:
Learn more about sustainable community food systems from UC SAREP.
Cornell University developed an online program called "Discovering the Food System" and it includes useful resources about food systems. The term "food system" is used frequently in discussions about nutrition, food, health, community economic development and agriculture. The food system includes all processes involved in keeping us fed: growing, harvesting, processing (or transforming or changing), packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and disposing of food and food packages. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step. The food system operates within and is influenced by social, political, economic and natural environments. Each step is also dependent on human resources that provide labor, research and education.
The following fact sheets were developed by Environmental Commons.
This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.