GIS Project Links Restaurants and Farmers
ating locally produced food has become popular all over the United States. As a result, restaurants are advertising their food as prepared from locally produced products to entice customers. But this is not simply a trend that will come and go, such as trends in fashion. Producing and consuming local food products used to be the way of life, and people everywhere are realizing the significance of this valuable practice. Over the last several decades, this practice slowed down and even diminished in many communities because of the increase and expansion of major corporations and large food vendors as well as the convenience of using these businesses. But in the last decade or so, the use of local food networks has been on the rise again. This can be attributed to the availability of information and knowledge about local food networks, the ease of obtaining this information, and the public’s growing desire for sustainability.
Background: Becoming Sustainable Sustainability is an important, prevalent topic in the news and in politics, in education and among businesspeople. As defined by Auburn University, sustainability is “meeting human needs now and in the future in a fair, equitable, and socially just manner, and in a way that protects and maintains healthy ecosystems in perpetuity.” This definition
explains the need to find and exhibit the best ways to continue our lives and help maintain the earth for future generations. Everybody has an effect on the earth, whether it is good or bad, and it is our responsibility to do what is good. There is an increased awareness of the need to be sustainable. Sustainability is not an issue that can be simply addressed by a single discipline of study, 127 but rather it has to be addressed from several areas of education to be efficient. Through my undergraduate studies, I was able to address sustainability. More specifically, I focused my research on a practice that has become widely popular around the world to help local communities become more sustainable both environmentally and economically. This practice is the production and consumption of food products in our own communities, also known as creating a local food network. I am a recent Auburn University graduate with a degree in interdisciplinary studies in business and geography—and years of valuable experience