Award-winning chef Dan Barber on how John Muir influenced his new book on the Farm to Table movement and how complicated organic farming is to achieve:

Rebuilding the Foodshed- How to Create Local, Sustainable and Secure Food Systems. Philip Ackerman-Leist, Chelsea Green Publishing 2013

The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan’s now-classic 2006 book.  

Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress(January 2015)  

USDA Economic Research Service: Access to Affordable and Nutritious Food—Measuring and Understanding Food Deserts and Their Consequences: Report to Congress (2009)  

Equitable Access To Food/ Global – United Nations ‘Our Common Future Chapter 2– Towards Sustainable Development  

Food Miles  

APA Press: Planning for Food Access and Community-based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans

US Food System, Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan  

Food Policy Resources  

Agrihoods” articles in DIRT  

After Decades in a Food Desert, Neighbors in Greensboro, NC Are Building a $2 Million Co-op—And They Own It.   Yes! Magazine reports that community members have raised 95% of the funds for the Renaissance Community Co-op,  which will alleviate a food desert –one of 17 in the city– created when the Winn Dixie closed down in 1998.  While you’re on the co-op website, check out Leo’s Gumbo recipe!  Learn more about the Benefits of Localism in an interview with author Michael Shuman by the Post Carbon Institute.


(NOTE: these are now available to all APA members upon logging in online)

A Planners Guide to Community and Regional Food Planning (PAS 554). Summary: The report shows how planners can play a significant role in shaping the food environment of communities and thereby facilitate healthy eating. The report is a response to the growing interest in food and healthy eating among planners and communities nationwide. It describes how community and regional food planning can be used to facilitate healthy eating in communities. Following an introduction to community and regional food planning, this report describes survey results of planners’ opinion of and role in this emerging area of planning. Because planners learn from practice, we provide case studies of six communities that have demonstrated leadership in promoting healthy eating using innovative strategies. The report concludes with strategies that planners can use to plan and design neighborhoods, routes, and destinations to facilitate healthy eating and build healthier communities.

Community Food System Assessments (PAS Memo). Summary: The article addresses the limitations of the food desert concept and provides guidance for planners on conducting a community food system assessment. Examples of assessments, resources, and a case study on Buffalo, New York, demonstrate how various communities have used this tool.

Food Truck Feeding Frenzy (Zoning Practice). Summary. The article discusses a range of issues for communities to consider as they add or update regulations for food trucks and other mobile vendors.

Local Agricultural Preservation: Making the Food System Connection (PAS Memo). Summary:  The article begins by setting the context for the local food movement and its relationship to planning and economic development, showing why local food is important and why its economic importance has been undervalued in the past. The article then describes measures that planners, local officials, and citizens can take to overcome this lack of understanding and appreciation to help promote local small-scale agriculture and the many benefits it offers. These measures go beyond the familiar tools of comprehensive plans, zoning ordinances, farmland preservation, and economic development, and they will work only if seen in the larger context of the food system as a whole.

Institutionalizing Urban Agriculture (PAS Memo). Summary: The article builds upon the PAS MEMO: Local Agricultural Preservation immediately listed above, and looks at the use of comprehensive urban agriculture zoning ordinances, the need to coordinate food system policy across multiple municipal departments and public agencies, public engagement strategies, and data collection methods to better measure and quantify the successes of urban agriculture.

Planning for Food Trucks (PAS QuickNotes 49). Summary: The article briefly summarizes the opportunities and challenges associated with food trucks, and discusses four key policy considerations for localities looking to update business licensing and development regulations to clarify rules for mobile food vendors.

The Farmland Protection Toolbox (PAS QuickNotes 36). Summary: The article briefly presents an overview of the tools most commonly used locally to reduce farm and ranch land conversion and to permanently protect agricultural land.

Urban Agriculture (PAS 563). Summary:  The report provides authoritative guidance for dealing with the implications of this cutting-edge practice that is changing our cities forever. APA initiated this report to introduce practicing planners and local government representatives to the concept of urban agriculture, its different forms of practice across North America, and its connections to other social, economic, and environmental goals. This report provides a conceptual and practical guide for planners working in the public sector. Private and nonprofit-sector planners—as well as staff of  other local and regional government agencies, including but not limited to public health, environment, economic development, and community development—may also find this report relevant to their work.

Urban Agriculture as an Emergent Land Use (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article describes and analyzes how three very different cities are promoting urban agriculture through zoning.

Urban Micro-Livestock Ordinances (Zoning Practice). Summary:  The article provides some insight into community-driven initiatives to sanction farm animals in urban areas and summarizes some common regulatory approaches aimed at ensuring these animals make good neighbors.

Zoning for Public Markets and Street Vendors (Zoning Practice). Summary: The article places markets and merchants in a historical context, examines regulatory approaches, and makes recommendations for zoning practice.

Zoning for Urban Agriculture (Zoning Practice). Summary:  The article places urban agriculture in a historical context, examines regulatory approaches, and makes recommendations for planning and zoning practice.