Aerial of a farm near a road.

Emerging Challenges to Sustainability of Food Systems

Principal Investigator

Hikaru Peterson

Department and College

Department of Applied Economics in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences

Project Number


Funding Type


Project Start and End Date

October 1, 2016-September 30, 2021

Project Summary

The food system in Minnesota, comprised of many local food systems including the Twin Cities metro area, has been actively pursuing sustainability. The local food movement has underlain the effort, thanks to the advocacy of consumers, businesses, and non-profit organizations, and responses from the state and local governments. There are additional movements such as the growth of urban agriculture, the importance of which is recognized by the recently proposed bill to the Minnesota State Legislature but the scope of which remains largely unknown. With the system's expansion, increased tensions among system components vying for different sustainability goals are beginning to surface. The recent increase in attention to food waste also implies an additional factor that affects the balance among food system components. This project aims to examine the existing and emerging challenges to the sustainability of the food system in Minnesota and the surrounding region through a portfolio of activities regarding rural grocery stores, farmers markets, values-based supply chains, new media marketing, consumer food behavior, food waste, and urban agriculture.