Foodsheds and Food Circles - corrected post

The message is being resent with apologies to sanet-mg and others 
for technical difficulties and poor transmission of "Foodsheds and 
Food Circles" message encountered 4/3 and 4/4. 
Nancy Lee Bentley
The Food Circle
PO Box 3083
Champaign, IL 61826-3083
(217) 586-3846
xx200@prairienet.org (The Food Circle) 

       _Local Food Security:_
       _Foodsheds and Food Circles_
       The Foodshed and The Food Circle
       More Local Food Security and Food Systems Development Info/Issues
       References and Resources
       _The Foodshed and The Food Circle_
       The foodshed and the food circle are two concepts gaining recognition as
       model s or conceptual frameworks for describing local food systems.
        The foodshed concept, most often attributed to Arthur Getz's in his 1991
       Urban Foodsheds article in Permaculture Activist,  uses the analogy of a
       watershed to describe 'the area that is defined by a structure of supply'.  Getz
       used the image of a foodshed to answer the question of  "Where our food is
       coming from  and how it is getting to us" and to picture how the local and
       regional food supply system works.   Inherent in this concept, he empha-
       sized, was 'the suggestion of a need to protect a source, as well as the need
       to know and understand its specific geographic and ecological dimensions,
       condition and stability in order for it to be safeguarded and enhanced.'       
       Today the Madison, Wisconsin area Foodshed Working Group along with an
       active coalition of food coops, csa associations, farmer's markets, producer
       coops, bakeries and other food processors, a natural food warehouse/
       distributor, UWMadison and other active participants is the best example 
       of a local food system identifying with the foodshed concept.      
       The Food Circle is a dynamic, community-based and regionally-integrated 
       food systems concept/model/vision. In effect, it is  a systems ecology.  In
       contrast to the current linear production-consumption system, The Food
       Circle is a production-consumption-recycle model.   A celebration of cycles,
       this model mirrors all natural systems and is based on the fact that all stable,
       biological and other systems function as closed cycles or circles, carefully
       preserving energy, nutrients, resources and the integrity of the whole.  
       The graphic model is a wheel of concentric circles, illustrating how an
       integrated  food system flows from  ag inputs and production through
       consumption and waste recycling. Starting with the individual at the center
       and moving outward through the family and community circles,this model
       shows the food system and its parts work,   integrating  political, economic,
       communication and other factors. For example, the CSA farmer in the
       production sector is directly across the circle from the CSA consumer
       members, showing the direct marketing relationship.    
       The goal of The Food Circle is to consciously develop networks of
       sustainable, community- based and regionally-integrated food systems,
       capable of providing the basic food needs of their members, providing
       markets for local food and agricultural producers, providing cooperative
       communications and trading exchanges as clearinghouses for goods, services
       and information.  Finally, the concept fosters an awareness of food
       stewardship.   The bottom line is energy, values and the preservation of life. 
       In contrast to the current linear food "chain" or food system resembling a
       gas and energy guzzling snake with two funnels at each end,  The Food
       Circle depicts a fundamental closure, integration and healing of the food
       system we desperately need. The Food Circle  embraces the whole web,
       including the food system connections,  from a regional perspective. 
       The beauty of The Food Circle lies in its addressing a host of associated
       issues, making it adaptable to a broad range of multidisciplinary interests as
       an organizing vehicle, a teaching model, a community economic develop-
       ment and planning model, even an entrepreneurial model. 
       This Food Circle is actually a blueprint  model  I have been developing and
       nurturing for a number of  years, first publicly used by myself and other
       organizers of New York's first organic conference, Closing the Food Circle,
       held at Ithaca in 1984.  Since then the concept has grown slowly,
       organically,  through writing, presentations, university research, local
       organizing projects, local and regional workshops, and now the budding of
       plans for the first multidisciplinary  foodsystem conference, The Food Circle
       Network: Campaign for Sustainable Food Systems, targetted for 1996.  The
       Food Circle WWW page is also now under construction.

       Several communities, including Kansas City/Columbia, Missouri and
       Champaign-Urbana, Illinois are developing local food circles.    The Kansas
       City model incorporates a food policy council and membership in a statewide
       foodsystems task force, including a developing network  of  producers,
       consumers and neighborhood based local food circle projects have been
       organized.  Two yearly conferences have been held.  
       The Champaign-Urbana Food Circle, sprouting shoots in this Silicon Prairie
       testbed community, is still an informal consortium of  csa's, food coop,
       vegetarian restaurant, farmer's market, farmer's market nutrition coupon
       project,  UIUC,  organic/sustainable  producers in a Sustainable Agriculture
       Network and other activists, but  also includes the local electronic
       Prairienet/freenet as a component of its nervous system.  Local currency
       options, especially  incorporating electronic information/creditsystems, are
       being researched.  A precedent-setting national "Information Agriculture"
       conference, including Simulated Electronic Community  utilizing The Food
       Circle model,  is scheduled in Champaign -Urbana for  June 1995.    
       One key component of the local food circle operating model is
       communication. As Food Systems Development Coordinator with U of  I ,
       this past year I have been working with the Sustainable Agriculture Network
       and other groups to develop specialty/organic/ LOVA (locally- owned,
       value-added) approaches  for Illinois and Midwest producers.  An electronic
       marketing information service, including electronic marketing directory and
       marketing network development, has been proposed.  Meanwhile, we are
       working with the local CCNet (business net) Ag committee to get at least 50
       farmers up on Email before the summer, conceivably a lost cause now that
       "the fields are dry enough to work".          
       The work takes time,  growing organically, for  the people must develop    
        conviction  in the ecological basis for the model and then reorient their
       working or consuming relationships.   Barriers  abound, from the centralized,
       technocratic structure of agriculture to consumer obsession with speed and
       convenience.  Likewise,  as emphasized in the June 1994 Defining
       Sustainable Communities Conference, sponsored by the Tides Foundation, 
       "Sustainable communities require a different value system than the one
       which predominates in America today".   Yet,  the change will come,  the
       conversion will happen.  Inevitably, whether by choice or through economic
       collapse, we will end up returning to a  locally-based food system. 
       _More Local Food Security and Food Systems Development Issues_
       Other approaches to local food security and food systems development have
       been focused on formation of local/municipal  food policy councils.  Ken
       Dahlberg, at the Dept. of  Political Science, Western Michigan University,
       has done extensive research, written several papers on this top-down
       approach to local food systems development. He is currently coordinating
       the Local Food Systems Project, funded by W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which
       has been active in financial support and leadership in this area.  
        Charleston, SC; Kansas City, Mo; Knoxville, TN;  Philadelphia, PA; and St.
       Paul, MN, plus Onondaga County, (Syracuse)  NY have or have had food
       policy councils to coordinate local food systems in their municipalities, with
       varying degrees of success.  Some other cities with strong local food systems
       are Hartford, CT, Ithaca, NY, and Toronto, Ontario.  Food systems
       developments in  Los Angeles and East St. Louis, IL have been spearheaded
       by Urban and Regional Planners, rather than by food advocates per se.         
       In their paper "Community Food Security: A Food Systems Approach 
       to the 1995 Farm Bill", Andy Fisher and Bob Gottlieb of UCLA's  School of
       Architecture and Urban Planning,  brought out key issues to those activists
       attending the first Community Food Security Coalition's organizational
       meeting,  August 25th, 1994:
       "... the concept of food security is often associated with the phenomenon of
       hunger.  However, food security differs from hunger in certain crucial ways. 
       First, food security represents a community need rather than an individual's
       plight, as with hunger.   In this context, we define food security as 'all
       persons obtaining a culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through
       non-emergency (conventional) sources at all times.'   Second, whereas
       hunger measures an existing condition of depravation, food security is decid-
       edly prevention-oriented, evaluating the existence of resources -- both
       community and personal -- to provide an individual with adequate acceptable
       A food security analysis extends .. into an examination of the food system. 
       Questions of equity and sustainability are vital to the development of food
       security.... A food system offering security should have sustainability such
       that the ecological system is protected and improved over time.. and equity,
       meaning as a minimum, dependable access for all social groups".
       Within the organizing framework of these models, local food systems/
       community food security can provide a vehicle for coalition-building among
       those interested in anti-hunger advocacy, sustainable agriculture, nutrition,
       urban agriculture, local food policy and community development and other
       related issues.  

       We are approaching a time of integration, where growing numbers of food,
       agriculture and other professionals are recognizing the need for an integrated 
       local/regional  f ood systems approach  to really  address, analyze and solve
       the current challenges in food and agriculture today.  In this visually-oriented
       world, such models are critical tools in this emerging discipline.   They can
       help  increase understanding of our current food system, identify barriers and
       constraints to sustainability  and give us a vision and roadmap for realizing --
       making real --  an optimum food system. 
       _Resources and References_
       A partial listing of References and Resources on foodsheds, food circles,
       community food security and local food systems issues and information.
       An Introduction to The Food Circle:  A Stewardship 'Technology' 
       for the New Paradigm, by Nancy Lee Bentley,  EcoCity Journal,
       Winter 1994,  available from The Food Circle.
       Community Food Security: A Food Systems  Approach to the 1995 Farm
       Bill, by Andy Fisher and Robert Gottlieb, UCLA , for The Community 
       Food Security Coalition.
       Food for the Future: Conditions and Contradictions of Sustainability,
       edited by Patricia Allen, 1993.  New York, John Wiley.
       Defining Sustainable Communities, Report from the Conference, June 2-4,
       1994, $5.00 from  Neighborhood Funders Group, 1001 South Marshall
       Street,  Suite 55,  Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 27101; 910-724-9070.
       Food Policy Councils:  The Experience of  Five Cities and One County,
       by Kenneth Dahlberg, Paper presented to the Joint Meeting of the Agri-
       culture, Food and Human Values Society and the Society for the Study of
        Food and Society, Tucson, AZ, June 1994
       Hendrix College Project. by Melissa Beck Yazman,  available from 
       Gary Valen, Hendrix College, Conway,  AR 72032.
       Local Food Systems: Policies and Values Influencing their Potential, 
        by Kenneth Dahlberg, 1993. National Science Foundation supported
       project, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI.
       Planting the Future:  Developing an Agriculture that Sustains Land 
       and Community, edited by Ann R. Bird, Gordan L. Bultena, and 
       John C. Gardner.  1995.  available from Iowa State University Press, 
       2121 S. State Avenue, Ames, IA 50014-8300. 
       Regional Food Guidance:  A Tool for a Sustainable Food System, by 
       Jennifer Wilkens,  Presented at the joint meeting of the Association
       for the Study of Food and Nutrition and the Agriculture, Food and
       Human Values Society, Tucson, AZ, May 1994.
       Sustainable Community Values Project Preliminary Report, Workshop
       presentation by Verna Kragnes and others,  Eating Closer to Home CSA 
       Conference, Dec. 1994. University of Wisconsin, River Falls.   
       The Community Food Security Empowerment Act, January 1995, available
       from The Community Food Security Coalition c/o Hartford Food System. 
       Urban Foodsheds,  by Arthur Getz.  1991,  Permaculture Activist: 
       Vol VII, No.3.
       The Community Food Security Coalition;  Mark Winne, c/o the Hartford
       Food System, 509 Wethersfield Ave. Hartford, CT 06114.  203-296-9325; 
       203-296-8326  fax
       Andy Fisher, Robert  Gottlieb, UCLA Department of Urban Planning,
       405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095 310-825-1067; 310-206-5566 fax
       Kate Fitzgerald, Nessa Richman,  Sustainable Food Center, 1715 East
       Sixth St., Suite 200, Austin, TX  78702; (512) 472-2073; (512) 472-2075
       fax;  hn2953@handsnet.org   
        Kenneth Dahlberg, Local Food Systems Project;, Department of Political 
       Science, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI  49008, (616) 387-
       5686;  (616) 387-3999 fax
       Anne deMeurisse, Minnesota Food Project, 2395 University Avenue, Saint
       Paul, MN 55114.  (612) 644-2038.
       Kate Clancy,  Department of Nutrition and Food Managerment, 034 Slocum
       Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York;  13244-1250; (315) 443-
       Robert L. Wilson,  consultant to City of Knoxville Food Policy Council, 
       (615)-588-7168.  or Gail Harris, City of Knoxville, Food Policy Council, PO
       Box 51650, Knoxville, TN 37950-1650. (615)-546-3500. 
       Sally  Leong,  Foodshed Working Group, 793A Russell Laboratories, 
       UW-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin  53706 (608) 262-5309  
       Nancy Lee Bentley, The Food Circle, The Food Circle Network, PO Box
       3083, Champaign, IL, 61826-3083, (217)-586-3846,  xx200@prairienet.org
       for a packet of informational material including graphic linear and Food
       Circle models and a reprint of  the Eco-City Journal "An Introduction to The
       Food Circle" article,  send $6.95 to The Food Circle. 
       Ben Kjelsus, The Food Circle Project, 7121 Park Road, Kansas City, MO
       64129.  (816) 924-3003.
       Verna Kragnes, Philadelphia Community Farm,  Box 668, Osceola, WI
       54020;  (715) 294-3136.
       Rod MacRae, Toronto Food Policy Council, 277 Victoria Street, Toronto,
       Ontario  Canada  M5B 1W1 416-392-1107: 416-392-1357 fax
       Nancy Lee Bentley
       The Food Circle
       The Food Circle Network
       PO Box 3083
       Champaign, IL, 61826-3083
       For a packet of informational material including graphic linear and Food
       Circle models and a reprint of  the Eco-City Journal "An Introduction to The
       Food Circle" article,  send $7.95 payable to The Food Circle, address above.