Envisioning the agricultural carrying capacity of a whole-diet food cluster in the Athens Metropolitan Statistical Area
De Rocher, Julien Paul
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The industrialized and centralized food system as it stands today has been implicated in a range of destabilizing trends in social, economic and ecologic dimensions. Smaller, decentralized food systems have been cited as potentially effective models that could mitigate the negative impacts of the industrial food supply. While the existing land base in the Athens area is capable of sup-porting a whole-diet production model, implementing a comprehensive, whole-diet local food system presents major challenges. Although the social virtues of local food systems are recog-nized and accepted by most Americans today, an understanding of how local food systems might feed entire populations merits further inquiry. How much land would be required to feed local residents if their diet were dependent on a strictly local food regimen? What are the social, eco-logical and economic implications of a whole-diet local food system? A lack of study in this area as it applies to geographically discrete food systems drives the research behind this thesis.