This past semester’s Community Food Systems class in UVa’s Department of Urban and Environmental Planning conducted an extensive study of the food system in Central Virginia in order to assess how able we are to provide ourselves with food. The resulting paper (684k PDF) is just wonderful. They looked at farms, distributors, grocery stores, restaurants and food banks to determine where our food comes from, how much it costs, and to whom it’s accessible. The document concludes by identifying seventeen barriers to food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste, with each accompanied by recommendations for how those barriers can be overcome. Along the way there are some fascinating maps and research results that provide a revealing look at Charlottesville’s demographics.
I’m having a hard time describing this without making it sound dry. In fact, this is forty seven page document is very much worth your time. I believe it’s the most interesting thing I’ve read about Charlottesville in quite some time—I’ll be chewing over these results for months.
07/06 Update: Dang, I knew this seemed familiar — Sean Tubbs interviewed the class members back in May, in a twenty-five minute story.