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Study guide on food systems

Introd­uction

FS elements
Production: Farmer grows the food Distri­but­ion­/Ag­gre­gation: truck drivers pick up from farm Proces­sing: cleaning, inspec­ting, packaging shipping Marketing: marketing to restau­rants, univer­sities, grocery stores, etc. Purcha­sing: people buy the food Prep/C­ons­ump­tion: cooking… kinda speaks for itself lol Resour­ce/­Waste Recovery: Landfills, Recycling systems, Trash systems

Local Food Defini­tions

USDA
400 miles
NCDA
within state boundaries
Personal
food that is access­ible, culturally approp­riate from practices to values, and provides regional signif­icance
Food Security
all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to suffic­ient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food prefer­ences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.
Food Sovere­ignty
the right of peoples to healthy and culturally approp­riate food produced through ecolog­ically sound and sustai­nable methods, and their right to define their own food and agricu­lture systems.
FS VS FS
Food security is a goal while food sovere­ignty describes how to get there. Food security does not distin­guish where food comes from, or the conditions under which it is produced and distri­buted. Food sovere­ignty emphasizes ecolog­ically approp­riate produc­tion, distri­bution and consum­ption, social­-ec­onomic justice and local food systems as ways to tackle hunger and poverty and guarantee sustai­nable food security for all peoples.
Change­-agents
Change agents undertakes the task of initiating or managing change in an organi­zation (innov­ators → positive outcome)
Food councils
#1 role: community outreach, planning, and food access (1)Assess food systems, (2)Connect stakeh­olders (3)Educate leaders and community, recommend policy + program changes
Policy
regulated by government and other instit­utions (ex: Farm Bill)
policy
defined by cultural practices and norms

RBA

Population > Results > Experi­enc­e/Story > Indicators + Baselines > Story behind the baselines > Partners >What works > Criteria > Strategy and Action Plan (Goes back to Indica­tors)
Ask population accoun­tab­ility questions
“What would it take to succeed?”

Indicator: a measure that helps quantify the achiev­ement of a result
- Ex: Median income of American Indian(AI) and Alaska Native(AN) households
- Baseline: The median household income for AI/AN households was $35,000 compared to $50,000 for the national average.

Objective: Measuring the health of consumers in an area
Indicator: Number of people that buy produce at the grocery store in that area.


Assess­ment: a tool for deepening a commun­ity's unders­tanding of its food system. It is a systematic way of collecting baseline data and stories that define a commun­ity's food system with the goal of identi­fying ways to enhance or strengthen the food system.
Secondary data: Pros: Abundant (all levels), provides quick insight, often comparable standard formats
Cons: Might not be available, could be old, overall less control

Issues + Impacts

issues
Access to market - (Food deserts, obesity and other diet related illnesses)
Enviro­nment Impact - (soil degrad­ation, deplet­ion­/de­ter­ior­ation of ground­water aquifers)
Food waste - (increases methane and other greenhouse gases in the atmosp­here)

Why it is hard to do research on local food systems:
1. The definition of “local food” is a gray area. No single defini­tion.
2. There is little data on local supply chains. (ex: farmers selling to superm­arkets)
3. Complex, sensitive issues to talk about (economic & health impacts)

Health: Individual weight loss, lower rates of diabetes, lower BMI
Economic: Money spent on local food tends to get respent within local economy. People who shop at farmers markets often shop at other nearby local busine­sses. Can help support entrep­ren­eurship and new business develo­pment.
Community: Working collec­tively (ex: community garden) creates stronger social ties. More civic engage­ment.
 

Climate Change

C Seques­tration
The capacity for agricu­ltural lands and forests to remove CO2 from the atmosp­here.
Adaptive capacity (resil­iency)
The ability of a system to adjust to climate change (including climate variab­ility and extremes) to moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opport­uni­ties, or to cope with conseq­uences.
Ex of AC
diversify crops, CC, marketing
Direct impacts on ag
1. Incons­istent weather patterns & increased severity of storms destroys yields 2. Rising temper­atures is decreasing crop yields (green­house effect) 3. New pest, pathogen, and weeds problems. a. Due to changing climate, an insect or weed that couldn’t thrive north of Texas in decades past may find Iowa a perfect fit going forward.
Climig­ration
climate refugees are forced to migrate to survive. ○ Types of Climate Related Migration: involu­ntary, planned reloca­tion, and general migration.
Food supply chain, health, and water supply impacts
temper­atures rise so does water use for people, crops, animals, and industry. - Increased temp= lack of running water to get clean, and more disease being spread. - Air pollution. - Food and supply insecurity from the effects of COVID-19. Supply chain is running behind.
Biochar
Partly burn materials such as logging slash or crop waste to make carbon­-rich, slow-t­o-d­eco­mpose substa­nces. It can then be buried or spread on farmland
Cover Crops
adding biomass, reduces pesiti­cides
Agrofo­restry, Interc­ropping
No till
prevent soil erosion and compaction
Diet changes
Contrary to popular opinion, food choices have a larger impact on GHG emissions than transp­ort­ation (“food miles”) which contri­butes 11% of GHG emissions. Production level is respon­sible for 83% of GHG, and diets can affect the level of production and how it is produced. Red meat is one of the top GHG agricu­ltural products and it is 130 more GHG intensive than chicken or fish. Dietary shifts like consuming red meat once a week to more vegeta­bles, dairy or eggs could be more beneficial than eating solely local food.
C credits
financial instru­ments generated by projects to offset GHGS (trees, cc, grazing). Pros: could be profit­able, excludes farmers because VC cost 75%
C tax
Carbon Tax: A government fee imposed on companies that burn coal, oil, or gas. Its goal is to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming. - Pros: Makes polluters pay the external cost of carbon emissions. It enables greater social effici­ency, as we pay full social cost. Raises revenue which can be spent on mitigating climate change­/ef­fects of pollution. - Cons: Firms may shift production to countries without a carbon tax. Admini­str­ation costs (a new cost) for measuring pollution and collecting the tax itself.
Health impacts
air pollution, disease
Water
GW decrease, heavy precip., 69% used in ag
FS chain
surplus + deficits, arable land
1. Warmer temp lengthen growing season = higher yeields
2. Decreased soil moisture increases need for irrigation
3. Northern migraton of weeds & weeds responds better to CO2
4. Increase disease pressure --> early spring­s/w­inter
 

RE

Equity: recognizes that each person has different circum­stances and allocates the exact resources and opport­unities needed to reach an equal outcome.
3 expressons
- Instit­uti­onal: not being able to take out a loan at the bank even though you are qualified to do so.
- Cultural: “A seed remembers where it is from”, story
- Personal: spending millions of dollars instead of donating individual resources to black farmers.
-Disman­tling white supremacy culture in the workplace
- Black/­white thinking, perfec­tio­nism, defens­iveness sense of urgency, quantity over quality, identify explicit goals, transp­arency, accoun­tab­ility, multracial teams
Robert Living­ston: 5 step plan
- (1) Problem awareness, (2) Root-cause analysis, (3) Empathy, or level of concern about the problem and the people it afflicts, (4) Strategies for addressing the problem, and (5) Sacrifice, or willin­gness to invest the time, energy, and resources necessary for strategy implem­ent­ation.

Supply Chain

Market channels: the people, organi­zat­ions, and activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods from the point of production to the point of consum­ption
Supply chain: A food supply chain is defined as the set of trading partner relati­onships and transa­ctions that deliver a food product from producers to consumers.
Value chains: strategic alliances between farms or ranches and other supply­-chain partners that deal in signif­icant volumes of high-q­uality, differ­ent­iated food products and distribute rewards equitably across the chain.
Values:Accou­nta­bility, long term commit­ment, commun­ica­tion, and transp­arency.

Community develo­pment: ENGAGEMENT of community members to pro-ac­tively understand and enhance economic, social, political, enviro­nme­ntal, cultural, physical, and educat­ional aspects of
a community through visioning, goals, object­ives, and implem­ent­ation.”
Relation to Ag: Shaping community food systems, implem­enting community gardens, etc.

Supply Chain

Market channels: the people, organi­zat­ions, and activities necessary to transfer the ownership of goods from the point of production to the point of consum­ption
Supply chain: A food supply chain is defined as the set of trading partner relati­onships and transa­ctions that deliver a food product from producers to consumers.
Value chains: strategic alliances between farms or ranches and other supply­-chain partners that deal in signif­icant volumes of high-q­uality, differ­ent­iated food products and distribute rewards equitably across the chain.
Values:Accou­nta­bility, long term commit­ment, commun­ica­tion, and transp­arency.

Community develo­pment: ENGAGEMENT of community members to pro-ac­tively understand and enhance economic, social, political, enviro­nme­ntal, cultural, physical, and educat­ional aspects of
a community through visioning, goals, object­ives, and implem­ent­ation.”
Relation to Ag: Shaping community food systems, implem­enting community gardens, etc.

Hunger

Biological determ­inants- hunger, appetite, and taste.
Economic determ­inants- cost, income level, availa­bility.
Physical determ­inants- access to food/m­arkets, education, skills (e.g. cooking) & time.
Social determ­inants- culture, family, and peers

#1: Poverty
Others root causes include: job instab­ility, food shortages and food waste, nutrit­ional quality, discri­min­ation, unstable markets, climate change, war and conflict, etc.
 

COVID

- Unempl­oyment rose from 3.8%
- Food banks operated by Feeding America saw a 60% increase in need for food assistance across the country
- Changes in demand of consumers, closure of food production facili­ties, restricted food trade policies, financial pressures in food supply chain, etc.


Bottleneck effect in farm labor, proces­sing, transport and logistics, as well as momentous shifts in demand. Most of these disrup­tions are a result of policies adopted to contain the spread of the virus. (Outbreaks in factory = policy requires shutdown = impact trickles down food supply chain)
Emergency Food Systems: Absence of rights: People relying on food banks have no legal rights if their requests are turned down.
- Fragility & Depend­ency: Emergency food is dependent on volunt­eers, donations, and goodwill.
- Leftovers: Food pantries may receive damaged, mislab­eled, or almost expired foods.
- Fragme­nta­tion: Food pantries may not be spread out evenly in needy areas (ex: one distri­bution center)

COVID

- Unempl­oyment rose from 3.8%
- Food banks operated by Feeding America saw a 60% increase in need for food assistance across the country
- Changes in demand of consumers, closure of food production facili­ties, restricted food trade policies, financial pressures in food supply chain, etc.


Bottleneck effect in farm labor, proces­sing, transport and logistics, as well as momentous shifts in demand. Most of these disrup­tions are a result of policies adopted to contain the spread of the virus. (Outbreaks in factory = policy requires shutdown = impact trickles down food supply chain)
Emergency Food Systems: Absence of rights: People relying on food banks have no legal rights if their requests are turned down.
- Fragility & Depend­ency: Emergency food is dependent on volunt­eers, donations, and goodwill.
- Leftovers: Food pantries may receive damaged, mislab­eled, or almost expired foods.
- Fragme­nta­tion: Food pantries may not be spread out evenly in needy areas (ex: one distri­bution center)

Biotech

- Genetic engine­ering: the deliberate modifi­cation of the charac­ter­istics of an organism by manipu­lating its genetic material.
- Agricu­ltural biotec­hno­logy: a range of tools, including tradit­ional breeding techni­ques, that alter living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products; improve plants­/an­imals; or develop microo­rga­nisms for specific agricu­ltural uses.
- Geneti­cally modified organisms: are animals, plants or microo­rga­nisms that have been modified using modern biotec­hnology techni­ques.

Traits:
- Engine­ering crops to be more resistant to damages (pest, weather, etc)
- Reduce allergens in crops
- Create plants that detoxify pollutants in soil
- Advanc­ements outside crops (Animal vaccines, improving antibiotic production

-Currently GM foods do not have to be labeled .
-They are highly regulated and undergo testing.
-Different agencies regulate them.
-Beginning in 2022 GMOs will be required to be labeled as “bioen­gin­eered”.

-Biote­chn­ology is mostly used in grain crops which are fed to livestock → climate change.
-Some people question if it is safe (human health).

-50% of people surveyed are wary about GM foods.
-40% of people weren’t concerned.
-10% claimed they didn’t understand it enough to know.
-Agronomic health: Weeds have become more resistant to herbicides and insects
-Human Health: No clear evidence of negative effects on human health
-Socio­eco­nomic: positive benefit in reducing crop losses to farmers (more money for them

Food Waste

- “Ugly” produce trend: Misfits Market
- Upcycling: products that weren’t completely used in one stage of production getting used in another stage for a new product. (i.e. granola bars made from beer grains, coffee flour)
- Donation (churches, food banks, Society of St. Andrew in eastern NC)

Approx­imately 40 to 50 percent of food WASTE happens at the consum­ption level.
- (at home, restau­rants, retail busine­sses, instit­utions, etc.)
Yet most food LOSS at the production level.
- 20 billion pounds of produce is lost on farms every year.
- Food loss occurs on farms for a variety of reasons.
- To hedge against pests and weather, farmers often plant more than consumers demand.
- Food may not be harvested because of damage by weather, pests and disease. Market conditions off the farm can lead farmers to throw out edible food. If the price of produce on the market is lower than the cost of transp­ort­ation and labor, sometimes farmers will leave their crops unharv­ested.

Different compost methods:
- Putting a container in the freezer and putting scraps in the freezer
- A specific store bought vermic­ompost kit
- Any air tight tupperware that you have at home will work (must be airtight to maintain anaerobic condit­ions)

Food recovery hiearchy

1. Source reduction
2. Feed hungry people
3. Feed animals.
4. Industrial uses
5. Composting
5. Landfi­ll/­inc­ine­ration

Food recovery hiearchy

 
1. Source reduction
2. Feed hungry people
3. Feed animals.
4. Industrial uses
5. Composting
5. Landfi­ll/­inc­ine­ration

Food recovery hiearchy

 
1. Source reduction
2. Feed hungry people
3. Feed animals.
4. Industrial uses
5. Composting
5. Landfi­ll/­inc­ine­ration

Food recovery hiearchy

 
1. Source reduction
2. Feed hungry people
3. Feed animals.
4. Industrial uses
5. Composting
5. Landfi­ll/­inc­ine­ration
 

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