Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

John Vogelsang


Schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons, government offices, and other institutions throughout the United States are key stakeholders in our vast and complicated food system; a system which is currently failing to meet the basic food and health needs of millions of Americans. The development of more sustainable food production and distribution, as well as increasing consumption of fresh locally grown foods, are key components in addressing this failure of our current system. Despite growing interest and support to reform our current food system, there appear to be some critical constraints and limitations in increasing the use of local foods in institutions.

This research study has assessed the opportunities and barriers to increasing the use of local foods in the food venues of institutions in Windham County, Vermont. In order to overcome these obstacles, and create an environmentally and socially sustainable and just food system, these constraints must be fully understood and appropriately addressed. This study has highlighted a number of successful efforts, the growing interest and enormous potential to engage institutional food buyers in the local food system. It is quite evident that increasing local food in our institutional food venues is not merely a decision or responsibility of the food service staff, but rather a significant undertaking which requires a system-level approach and considerable community support.


Agricultural and Resource Economics


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