Local Food Video Series: Diverse Approaches to Common Challenges

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Author: Caroline Kamm | Published: December 2017

In the summer of 2017, I set out on a road trip from Monterrey, Mexico, to Toronto, Canada, filming a documentary series on North American local food initiatives. During this 4,800-kilometer (3,000-mile) journey, my co-creator and I had the privilege of meeting dozens of farmers, small-business owners, community organizers, and food advocates who shared an inspiring and diverse vision for the future of North American food.

Beginning in November 2017, each of their stories will be presented as a component of a 10-part series entitled The Food Less Traveled.

There is far from a consensus on what counts as local. The U.S. Department of Agriculture uses several definitions of “local food,” including geographic distance traveled and specific types of market arrangements. Many of the organizations in this series work expressly on shortening the distance between producer and consumer, while others are engaged in work beyond a single community or region. When exploring the concept of a local food system, this series highlights organizations at the neighborhood and community level, as well as larger initiatives that have a significant local impact.

Each of these organizations approaches food from an entirely unique perspective. Even so, a number of common themes emerged between their work, and it is these core themes that the series will explore further. This is perhaps one of the most inspiring things about food and agriculture: the capacity of creative people to devise a number of solutions to the food system’s biggest challenges.

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