Counting Local Food Consumption

Longitudinal Data and Lessons from Vermont


  • David Conner University of Vermont
  • Florence Becot Ohio State University
  • Ellen Kahler Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
  • Jake Claro Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
  • Annie Harlow Addison County Relocalization Network



Local Food, Community Development, Methods, Consumption


As interest in local food systems as a community development tool increases, scholars and practi­tioners are looking for methods to count progress toward benchmarks. This paper reports on efforts to count local food consumption as part of a statewide strategic plan for food systems develop­ment in Vermont. It provides longitudinal data from three waves of counting (2011, 2014, and 2017), finding increases over time due to both increased consumption and improved counting methods. The paper reflects on successes and challenges over the study period, focusing on data availability, key assumptions, and limitations. It concludes with future directions of inquiry into measuring food relocalization efforts.

See the press release for this article. 


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

David Conner, University of Vermont

Associate Professor, Department of Community Development and Applied Economics

Florence Becot, Ohio State University

Ph.D. Candidate, Rural Sociology; now Associate Research Scientist, National Farm Medicine Center, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute

Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Executive Director

Jake Claro, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Farm to Plate Director

Annie Harlow, Addison County Relocalization Network

Executive Committee



How to Cite

Conner, D., Becot, F., Kahler, E., Claro, J., & Harlow, A. (2020). Counting Local Food Consumption: Longitudinal Data and Lessons from Vermont. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(2), 87–100.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>