Local and Organic Food

Mapping Local Food

Tracing the Multidemensionality of Local Food Definitions, Consumer Motivations and Local Food Communities

Alice Reznickova and Lydia Zepeda (advisor)


The purpose of this dissertation is to systematically explore why the local food community may or may not be socially inclusive, thus providing suggestions about how to either be more inclusive or create bridges across different communities. This will be accomplished by addressing three research questions:

  1. What is local food for different people?
  2. Who procures local food? How and why?
  3. What are the characteristics of the local food community?

To answer these questions, qualitative methods, specifically in-depth interviews, will be employed. The participants will involve producers, retailers, consumers and non-consumers of different backgrounds. The findings will include:

  1. Developing a multidimensional definition of local food
  2. Understanding and explaining consumer motivations
  3. Characterizing the local food community (or communities)

To validate and extend the findings, a survey instrument will be developed and pretested using the concepts found in the interviews.