CIAS leads diverse projects on food systems, or what happens from the farm gate to an eater's plate. This work is helping to get local, sustainably-grown food to eaters through schools, Community Supported Agriculture farms, and unique partnerships with growers, processors, farmers' markets, grocers and other food-related businesses.
Regional Food Systems Research: Needs, Priorities, and RecommendationsWhy question the modern food system? While the modern food system is efficient and bountiful as measured by many traditional criteria, a growing number of people question whether this system is sustainable and equitable. Concerns about persistent hunger, food safety, concentration of power within the food industry, and the environmental effects of an industrialized, globalized […] more
CROPP study maps paths to small-scale co-op marketing success (Research Brief #18)The 1993 study helped us see the potentials for marketing cooperatives, and the decisions CROPP has made since then are instructive for anyone interested in that topic. — Steve Stevenson Formed in 1988 by a handful of organic farmers, the Coulee Region Organic Produce Pool (CROPP) in LaFarge, Wisconsin, shares a philosophy of collective action […] more
Energy Use in the U.S. Food System: a summary of existing research and analysisEnergy derived from fossil fuel plays a central role in the production, processing and distribution of food. This paper summarizes existing research and analyses of energy use in the food system, discusses where the most significant and feasible energy savings might be achieved, and suggests areas for future research. Read the full report (pdf file) more
Sustainable agriculture: balancing profits and human and natural resources (Research Brief #1)What is sustainable agriculture, and why is it important? In recent years, many people, both rural and urban residents, have become concerned that the agricultural practices used during the past 30 to 40 years may be damaging the environment and reducing food quality. more
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