The term “food system” is used frequently in discussions about nutrition, food, health, community economic development and agriculture. The food system includes all processes involved in keeping us fed: growing, harvesting, processing (or transforming or changing), packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and disposing of food and food packages. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each step. The food system operates within and is influenced by social, political, economic and natural environments. Each step is also dependent on human resources that provide labor, research and education.
A Primer on Community Food Systems: Linking Food, Nutrition and Agriculture
Cornell Cooperative Extension
Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Direct Marketing, Environmental Benefits, Farmers Markets, Food Policy Councils, Local / Regional Food Systems