METRICS FROM THE FIELD: Allowing Ethnic Heritage To Emerge in Farm and Food Policy


  • Ken Meter Crossroads Resource Center



Column, Ethnicity, Heritage, Culturally Appropriate Foods, Economic Impacts


First paragraphs:

Many people who work at the grassroots building community-based food systems aim to create local food networks that build health, wealth, connection, and capacity (Meter, 2010). This vision implies that stronger cultural connections, including vibrant ethnic identity and heritage, must be among the outcomes of food policy.

Yet our policy discourse frequently suggests that economic efficiency constitutes the primary measure of success. This is clearly a narrow view. As long as one's viewpoint is limited to ways of squeezing production costs to the lowest possible levels, or raising prices as high as the market will bear, the basic humanity of food will dissipate and the transformative potential of local foods will be lost. From a systems perspective, measuring success solely using any one indicator, such as efficiency, amidst a complex and rapidly changing system will distort one's understanding of that system, leading to skewed outcomes.... 


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

Ken Meter is one of the most experienced food system analysts in the U.S., integrating market analysis, business development, systems thinking, and social concerns. At the Crossroads Resource Center, Meter continues to work with regions, and state and federal governments to assess food systems and the feasibility of proposed new food businesses and business clusters. He is a co-author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service's Economic Impacts of Local and Regional Food Systems Toolkit ( He is also the co-author of Border People, the first published account of German-Bohemian emigration to the U.S. He recently purchased a ceramic crock for making sauerkraut.
Ken Meter



How to Cite

Meter, K. (2015). METRICS FROM THE FIELD: Allowing Ethnic Heritage To Emerge in Farm and Food Policy. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 5(4), 11–13.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>