The American Farmland Trust undertook a detailed study of San Francisco area farm production to determine if the farms and ranches within 100 miles of the city can produce enough food to satisfy the needs of the area. The study documents the rapid rise in the local food movement, with 150% growth in farmers markets since 1994, and in the organic and sustainably grown food sectors, with average annual growth of 18% from 1998 to 2006.
The desire for local food is a growing trend that aims for a more sustainable outcome, supporting local farmers and reducing the miles our food travels to our plates. This study took a look at food production in 25 California counties within 100 miles of San Francisco. The study acknowledges that data are hard to come by for the source of food products in our grocery stores, so it largely focused on food production capacity.
“Though regional agriculture is capable of meeting much of the dietary needs of the City, not all of the food now consumed by its roughly 744,000 residents and 330,000 daily visitors comes from within a 100-mile radius. And, more to the real point of our study, the local food sector of the agricultural economy of northern California is today but a small fraction of its total production capacity. There is, in short, a lot more potential for the City and all Bay Area communities to take advantage of the cornucopia around it to improve their diet, support local farmers and, by choosing fresh produce in season and reducing the distance their food travels from farm to fork, minimize their impact on natural resources and the environment.”
View the full report here.