February 26, 2013 | By Colton Knedler
A UC Davis research team has created an online bibliography of research articles examining community food systems, part of a broader effort to enhance the sustainability of the food system. The team members include David Campbell, Community Studies Specialist in the Department of Human Ecology; Gail Feenstra, Food Systems Analyst, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program; Ryan Galt, Assistant Professor, Department of Human Ecology; Courtney Marshall, recent M.S. graduate in Community Development; and current Community Development graduate students Ildi Carlisle-Cummins, Sheila Golden and Michael Weinberg.
Campbell explains "A sustainable community food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place." The local food systems movement has grown in recent years, and with that, an increase in academic research on the subject. "We wanted to build a stronger link between research and practice, so that local food system practitioners have the benefit of solid information, and researchers are responding to the real tensions practitioners are facing," says Campbell. The bibliography is one tool to bring this about, making it easier to locate literature on particular topics in the field and facilitating efforts to focus on cutting edge questions."
The new bibliography (which includes about 1,600 articles from peer-reviewed journals) can be found online. "There has been considerable interest in the bibliography from other academics, and we hope graduate students and other researchers use it as a starting point for their research," states Campbell.
The bibliography has already been used as the basis for a graduate seminar on Community Food Systems (taught by Campbell) in fall 2011. Working together, researchers and practitioners can begin to realize the vision of a community food system in which the values of sustainability, democracy, and justice are enhanced.
This is just another example of what makes UC Davis America's 'Coolest School'.