Locavoracious: What are the impacts and feasibility of satisfying food demand with local production?
Katie O’Sullivan McGill University, Montreal, Canada May 2012
Growing concern over global food security and environmental sustainability has popularized the local food movement within many industrialized countries. While context-specific, the impacts and feasibility of localizing diverse food systems are subject to similar parameters and analytical approaches, which have not been evaluated holistically. I conduct a systematic review of peer-reviewed literature assessing the impacts and feasibility of local food systems. I demonstrate that knowledge of environmental impacts is well-developed in comparison to economic and social elements, while feasibility analysis over-simplifies networks of food production and consumption as geographical alignment of supply and demand. As policymakers strive to improve food security at multiple scales, there is inadequate consideration of external market forces and infrastructure that are crucial in determining local food distribution and availability.