Date of this Version
Environmental Studies Undergraduate Student Thesis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2022
The current state of agriculture in the United States utilizes industrial practices that pose a myriad of risks to both human and environmental health. By focusing on smaller farms and local food systems that utilize more sustainable agriculture practices, communities can benefit in terms of economic, environmental, and social health. Food hubs can play a key role in local food systems to connect local producers with consumers and increase access to local food. The goal of the research was to analyze the accessibility and sustainability of local food from food hubs in Lincoln, Nebraska to find the key barriers to accessibility and draw comparisons between locality and sustainability. A systematic literature review provided an informational basis for the quantitative and observational study of the three grocers and four food items studied in Lincoln, Nebraska. The key findings of this research are that physical location and cost are the main barriers in accessibility for local food sold at food hubs. Local food is not always more sustainably grown than non-local foods, but local foods tend to have much lower carbon dioxide emissions during transportation than non-local foods.