Monday, May 16, 2016

Potential Food Sources in Philadelphia

High rates of industrialization in our county has changed the way our food is sourced. Quick and easy has become the new fab. This major change has made it difficult for urban populations to eat locally and organically. The research done by Peleg Kremer and Tracy L. DeLiberty used GIS tools and methods to evaluate local food practices and growth potential. They used geographical research to form statistical hypotheses about the locality of the food sources in Philadelphia. Today people are eating foods with a high “food mileage” (the distance the food travels to the consumer, usually over 400 miles). Kremer and DeLiberty have found that the longer the food travels the more negative effects it will have on human health and the environment. After using GIS mapping tools to create the following maps, (see Fig. 2 - Fig. 4) they were able to create predictions about the potential food practices in Philadelphia. 

Using Figure 10 and Table 1, 

Kremer and DeLiberty frugally calculated that if “just 5% of the available land was cultivated in the city of Philadelphia, with a conservative average yield of 0.6 pounds/sq. ft, over 9.9 million pounds of food would be produced annually, as locally as food can be grown.” This would allow the urban areas of Philadelphia to have a higher access to local food products, therefore reducing the negative health and environmental effects associated with the previously consumed high “food mileage” products.

Kremer, P., & DeLiberty, T. L. (2011). Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia. Applied Geography, 31(4), 1252-1261.

1 comment:

  1. The city of Philadelphia could probably start to grow more local food products. It would be interesting to see if they set aside plots of land for compost use and how that would effect the population. One other thing that I wonder is if the locally grown foods would have to be modified more than the foods brought in.