Methodologies for Identifying Food System Research Priorities: Dispatch from Alaska
Keywords:Alaska, Food Security, Food Systems
AbstractAlaska faces unique challenges to sustainable food systems and food security, including extreme climate conditions and geographical remoteness, and yet the state is similar to the "Lower 48" states with respect to many indicators that can be used to characterize the health of our food systems. Due to common concerns over such indicators as obesity rates, food insecurity rates, and recruitment of new farmers, food system stakeholders in Alaska are promoting a resurgence of food systems research and advocacy that is exemplified in the work of the Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC). Identifying and prioritizing the specific food systems research needs of a state as large and diverse as Alaska is a challenge, but one that is being met with methodical, straightforward approaches. This commentary outlines two examples of recent formal, yet relatively simple, methods for identifying food system research and action priorities, and concludes by sharing some of the latest identified Alaska food system priority research projects, ideas, and needs.
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