Growing pains: the local food movement in northern Colorado

McNamara, Maureen Catherine, author
Browne, Katherine E., advisor
Sherman, Kathleen A., committee member
Raynolds, Laura, committee member
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Global food and agribusiness corporations exhibit significant control over food production and consumption. Around the world, people contest this corporate food regime through efforts like local food movements. Critics often undermine the power of localism movements and claim that local food is a short-term trend that will not impact the larger market. In my thesis, I explore the local food movement in Northern Colorado. My analysis draws on fieldwork I conducted in 2009-2010 and includes data from participant observation, semi-structured interviews (n=23) and an online survey (n=67). In Northern Colorado, local food producers and advocates are passionate about and committed to growing the local food system. The strong network of producers ensures that the movement stays rooted in and develops as an integral part of the community. Despite producers' enthusiastic and collaborative energies, local food is not for the most part economically viable. Producers, consumers, and advocates in Northern Colorado are faithful to local food, but individual commitments cannot counter the powerful forces that shape food production and consumption. In order for local food to challenge the global agro-food structures, the movement has to adopt a more political and economically focused approach that moves beyond consumer education and marketing strategies.
2010 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
Rights Access
producer community
Local foods -- Colorado
northern Colorado
Producer cooperatives -- Colorado
local food
food movement
economic viability
regional food system
Associated Publications