Counting Local Food Consumption
Longitudinal Data and Lessons from Vermont
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.
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