EFSNE team meets for its fourth-year annual meeting

Posted: October 25, 2014

The Northeast Center’s signature food system project is now well into the second half of its project timeline, and recently convened for its annual in-person meeting in Greenbelt, MD. Team members reported on the outcomes and impacts they are seeing spill over into the communities in which they are working, and are beginning to make results available to other researchers.

Some milestones of the year include:

  • A comparison of the region’s production to its consumption was conducted, resulting in a “self reliance” measurement for 100 foods. These calculations show that the Northeast is far more self-reliant for animal-based foods, like dairy and eggs, than for plant-based foods.
  • Intercept surveys were conducted with 1,800 shoppers in the project’s eight study locations, providing the researchers insights into shoppers’ purchasing habits, access to food stores, perceived quality of foods available, and food assistance program use.
  • Supply chain case studies for cabbage and fluid milk were completed, and case studies of other supply chains are in progress. These case studies will allow researchers to simulate the impact of interventions intended to facilitate access of healthy foods by low-income communities on producers, processors, distributors and consumers in the NE.
  • The project’s innovative use of modeling methodologies inspired the development of a national Food Systems Modeling Learning Community through which researchers are building their understanding and uses of modeling methods. Participants will also engage practitioners to foster understanding and use of modeling in projects on
the ground.
  • Five students whose research projects were connected to the project graduated with masters or doctoral degrees.
  • The project’s newsletter was launched in January, and four issues have been sent to more than 300 external subscribers this year. The project website has had 6,000 page views to date.