Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems: A Reading List

Do you have questions about community, local, and regional food systems? Are looking to procure local foods or want to better understand the social movement?

Are you an educator involved in community development and change processes? Do you just want to have a solid foundation of terms, concepts, perspectives, and potential practices?

Below is a compilation of articles and reports that can give you a sound understanding of community, local, and regional food systems. The list contains reports on recent trends in local and regional foods, discussion on the meaning of local foods, a glossary of terms, and how land-grant universities like Virginia Tech and Virginia State University can strengthen community, local and regional food systems.

Clancy, K. & Ruhf, K. (2010). Is Local Enough? Some Arguments for Regional Food Systems. Choices. First Quarter 25(1). Retrieved from

Hand, M.S., & Martinez, S. (2010). Just What Does Local Mean? Choices. First Quarter 25(1). Retrieved from

King, R.P. (2010). Theme Overview: Local Food – Perceptions, Prospects, and Policies. Choices. First Quarter 25(1). Retrieved from

Holcomb, R. B., Bendfeldt, E., Lelekacs, J., Velandia, M., Woods, T.A., Goodwin, H.L., & Rainey, R.L. (2016, February). A Local Foods System Glossary: A Rose by Any Other Name. Conference paper at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA) 2016 Annual Meeting, San Antonio, Texas. Retrieved from

Lamie, R.D., Dunning, R., Bendfeldt, E., Lelekacs, J.M., Velandia, M. and Meyer, L. (2013). Local Food Systems in the South: A Call for a Collaborative Approach to Assessment. Choices. 4th Quarter 28(4), 1- 5. Retrieved from

Lev, L., & Gwin, L. (2010). Filling in the Gaps: Eight Things to Recognize about Farm-Direct Marketing. Choices. Volume 25(1). Retrieved from

Low, S. A., Adalja, A., Beaulieu, E., Key, N., Martinez, S., Melton, A., Perez, A., Ralston, K., Stewart, H., Suttles, S., Vogel, S., & Jablonski, B.R. (2015). Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems, AP-068, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, January 2015. Retrieved from

Martinez, S., Hand, M., Da Pra, M., Pollack, S., Ralston, K., Smith, T., Vogel, S., Clark, S., Lohr, L., Low, S., & Newman, C. (2010). Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues, ERR 97, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC. Retrieved from

Onozaka, Y., Nurse, G., & Thilmany McFadden, D. (2010). Local Food Consumers: How Motivations and Perceptions Translate to Buying Behavior. Choices. First Quarter 25(1), Retrieved from

Palma, M.A., Morgan, K., Woods, T. & McCoy, S. (2013). Response of Land Grant Universities to the Increase in Consumer Demand for Local Foods in the South. Choices. 4th Quarter 28(4). Retrieved from

Pirog, R. & Rasmussen, R. (2008). Food, Fuel and the Future: Consumer Perceptions of Local Food, Food Safety and Climate Change in the Context of Rising Prices. Leopold Center Publications and Papers. 126. Retrieved from