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Volume

56

Issue

7

Abstract

Our goal with this article is to present a visual aid and tool for assessing local food systems. We propose that local food systems comprise four essential components represented by the acronym FOOD: in(F)rastructure, pr(O1)duction, (O2)rganizations, and (D)emand. The FOOD assessment tool provides a visual overview of the statuses of these four essential components relative to a particular food system. It is also useful for comparing one food system to another or for tracking changes over time. Availability of the tool has important implications for U.S. Extension professionals across a variety of disciplines with regard to connecting individual components within local food systems.

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