Challenges in Implementation of a Distributed and Localised Approach to Food Manufacturing

Existing large-scale centralised food production practices are often unsustainable due to requirements for significant transportation of both raw materials and finished products. These approaches also require substantial concentrated demands on energy and water. In addition, increasing amounts of food waste are being generated worldwide by manufacturers and retailers due to their dependence on unreliable demand forecasting methods as part of centralised production practices. Regulatory pressures and policy requirements as well as consumer demands for increased variety, improved traceability, and healthy diets are forcing manufacturers and retailers to reconsider their ingredient sourcing, production, storage, and distribution strategies. “Distributed and Localised Manufacturing” (DLM) aims to provide the food sector with capabilities to improve the efficiency of production systems, to optimise logistics operations across supply chains, and to extend the shelf life of products. However, to achieve these potential benefits, the implementation of DLM will involve many challenges that need to be carefully considered and addressed. This article explores these challenges and describes four specific implementation models to aid with the development of innovative and appropriate DLM structures for various food products.

“Frenchified”: French Food and Salon Culture in Jefferson’s White House

Thomas Jefferson’s love of food was more than merely a hobby, and in fact, played a vital role in his political career. This study analyzes the food and wine he served, the people he hosted, and the size of his dinner parties and argues that the food he served directly correlated to the success of his political agenda. His distinct salon style of entertaining developed from his love of French culture and his desire to establish Washington as a capital city equal to any in Europe. Using a methodological approach centered on food politics, this article specifically addresses how dining and entertaining were utilized as a means to enact political agendas.

Promoting Healthy Food Access in an Urban Food Desert in a Baltimore City Neighborhood

A food desert is an urban or rural location which lacks access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods due to a lack of grocery stores. In the state of Maryland, 12.7 percent of residents are food insecure, which is comparable to the national average. In Baltimore City, 23.8 percent of residents are food insecure, and one quarter of city residents live in food deserts. The lack of access to healthy food can result in diet-related health conditions such as overweight and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions. Establishing community gardens in urban food deserts helps to improve the food environment and increase access to vegetables and fruits. This article describes the process of distributing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – National Institute for Food and Agriculture People’s Garden Grant funds within the Cherry Hill neighborhood located in South Baltimore, Maryland. The article also describes the program’s reach and the change in access to fresh produce as a result of the People’s Garden Grant funds. Cherry Hill is a USDA-designated urban food desert. In 2011, the 1.5-acre Cherry Hill Urban Garden was established within the Cherry Hill community. In 2011, the USDA awarded a People’s Garden Grant to establish school and community gardens in Cherry Hill, to engage the community in healthy gardening activities, to build partnerships, and to create opportunities for economic development related to urban agriculture. With these funds, community organizations were invited to apply for micro-subgrant awards. Using grant documents, attendance sheets, and GIS analysis, results indicate that five new gardens were established, ninety-six residents participated in cooking classes, nineteen youth were trained in urban agriculture, and eleven new partnerships were developed between the fourteen awarded applications. The new gardens increased physical access to fresh fruits and vegetables as 100 percent of residents lived within one mile of a garden and 90 percent of residents lived within one half mile of a garden.