Sarah Benoit


Much of the current research on global and local food insecurity – particularly among poor urban populations – strongly suggests that the impacts of industrial agriculture and the American fast food culture has been detrimental to both urban and rural populations, and to small farmers. Food insecurity and unequal access to healthy and affordable food are critical issues in the metropolis. In response to these concerns, there has been a great deal of mobilization around the concept of local and regional food systems. Food systems analysis examines the viability, equitability, and sustainability of the life cycle of the local food system. This framework allows for the discussion of many factors related to improvements within the food system. To date, food systems research has been limited in its attention to the United States’ largest urban areas. Specific studies on the New York City food system have begun to surface, however the body of scholarship is still limited. The focus on these food systems has important implications for cities, which now hold more than half of the world’s population. New York City has made great strides in integrating local food production into the urban context through support for urban gardens and farming and the increased focus on community gardens and urban farms. For this examination of seasonal food, New York City serves as the urban context and center of the local food system under consideration.