Thursday, February 11, 2016

Philadelphia and Local Food Production

Kremer and DeLiberty, the authors of this study, write that, "despite the centrality of geography of place in the study and practice of local food systems, methods of geographical analysis examining local food systems are just beginning to develop," providing a platform to analyze an area's potential for food production (Kremer & DeLiberty). The current system of industrial-scale food production, including Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs), is incredible problematic. This type of food production largely contributes to deforestation, degradation of croplands, loss of biodiversity, and water, soil, and air pollution (Kremer & DeLiberty).

Kremer and DeLiberty acknowledge that

"Despite the centrality of geographical issues pertaining to local food systems, few studies explore spatial analysis techniques for the study of local food systems. Simple mapping tools are often used by local food advocates. In food justice and food access research, spatial analysis tools such as buffer distances and service zone analysis are often used (see Russell & Heidcamp and Eckert & Shetty in this volume)."

However, they continue on to argue that "a geospatial database is an essential component in the understanding, development and evaluation of local food systems" (Kreme & DeLiberty).

The map to the left shows one way that GIS can be used to provide data about local food production across a city, overlapped with the median income of each subsection. Analyzing this map helps to understand the sections of cities that have the best potential for local food production and that would be most highly served by local food systems.

Kremer, P., & DeLiberty, T. L. (2011). Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia. Applied Geography31(4), 1252-1261.

1 comment:

  1. Could this type of mapping be used to find the best locations for the production of certain foods, like the concentrated animal feedlot operations, like the article discussed?