Many would agree that whenever they hear the phrase, “local food system” they think of the local farmer; and the vegetables they may sell at the farmers’ market. If you asked a farmer what the definition of the local food system is, he or she would tell you that they are not the only players in the chain of activities your food passes through from field to fork. The local food system also includes butchers, millers, truck drivers, local grocers, and the community that supports them in all their efforts (Larsen).
A food system is defined as the chain of activities connecting food production, processing, distribution, marketing, access, consumption, and waste management. It includes the diverse agriculture system that produces our food, our natural resource base and our people who live and work in the region. The food system is a diverse and complex system that everyone of us participates in. As a eater do you consider every other piece of the food system: the farmer in the production sector, the person who slaughters the pig for your ham sandwich or the garbage collector who collects your trash each week? Our food system is deeply integrated into our daily lives and the activities of the communities where we live.
This local food system plan is a result of multiple organizations and partners in Linn and Johnson counties who created a Task Force to identify issues in the local food system and develop a strategic food system plan to address them. The Linn-Johnson Local Food Task Force’s mission was to develop strategic partnerships to revitalize a local food system within the Corridor. Their vision describes the Corridor as a place that embraces local foods in a diversified and environmentally conscious agricultural community; serving as a hub for a revitalized regional food system.