[. . .] This symposium Article analyzes how we can rethink the architecture of law based on a foodshed model to provide a greater role for local, state, and regional government in the American food system. In turn, greater roles for different levels of government may help America achieve greater efficiencies in domestic food safety, nutrition and related public health issues, sustainability, and international trade.

Americans need a greater voice in the food system. The foodshed model is a powerful vehicle that allows us to conceptualize change, allowing greater citizen participation and a more nuanced approach to food policy. The model also allows for greater nuance because it forces us to examine what is happening within the foodshed, whether we view that globally, regionally, or locally. A foodshed model requires us to examine our expectations of local agriculture and food production, as well as global trade. Obviously, these are sweeping topics, but the goal of this Article is much more modest: to frame food system reform within a foodshed model that considers the role of local, regional, national, and global government in food production and consumption.

This Article contains three sections. First, it provides an overview of the foodshed model's utility to food system reform. Second, it analyzes the various governmental structures that affect the food system, including the example of how the Food Safety Modernization Act illustrates those structures in the American food system. Finally, it presents a foodshed model that integrates local and state, regional, and national food system governance. The Article concludes by suggesting a feasibility study of this model, or similar ones, in the next Farm Bill.

Publication Date

Fall 2010

Journal Title

Fordham Environmental Law Review


Fordham University School of Law

Document Type