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Western Washington Foodshed Study
  • Branden Born, University of Washington
  • Anne DeMelle, University of Washington
  • Kara Martin, University of Washington
  • Megan Horst, University of Washington
Washington State is home to 6.7 million residents, and has grown by 14% in the past decade. In the same decade, Washington State has lost 805,817 acres of farmland to development, conversion to non-agricultural uses, and non-cultivation. As the population continues to grow, and farmland continues to shrink, rising fuel prices and climate change raise concerns with long-distance transportation of food. Eating locally is a concept that has arisen to combat these concerns, but raises a pressing concern of its own: is there enough farmland to feed our population locally? 
The Western Washington Foodshed Study seeks to answer this question by identifying the food that is being produced in the region, the food that is consumed in the region, and the potential of the region's land resources for production. The study is funded by American Farmland Trust, with the intent of using study findings to inform policy discussions about the potential to develop a local food system by reconnecting local farmers to local consumers. The study will culminate in examining the food supply chain between local producers and consumers, and recommendations on how to re-localize these connections. 
This foodshed study follows the precedent set by other foodshed studies conducted in San Francisco, New York, the Midwest, and British Columbia. The purpose of this foodshed study, like others, is to determine the potential for a population to be fed locally. Supporting local food promotes agricultural sustainability that ensures food security, improves nutrition, and reduces greenhouse gases.  When discussing local food systems, a foodshed study is useful in determining what the current production of a region is, and what potential the region holds to meet local food demand.
Publication Date
March, 2012
This study was completed by graduate students at the University of Washington in collaboration with faculty and representatives of American Farmland Trust. The study partners thank the Project Advisory Board for their valuable contributions. This study was made possible by financial support from American Farmland Trust.
Citation Information
Branden Born, Anne DeMelle, Kara Martin and Megan Horst. "Western Washington Foodshed Study" (2012)
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