We welcome partnerships to conduct specific geographic food system analyses. Here are a few examples of recent partnership-developed mapping projects.
The Maryland Food System Map Project recently worked with Eliza Davenport Whiteman, a dual Master’s candidate at Tufts University in the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at the Friedman School of Nutrition and the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Policy, to conduct an analysis of slaughterhouse location and capacity in Maryland. The goal was to understand the ability of slaughter facilities to provide services for farmers raising livestock in Maryland. Eliza’s results are enlightening: while certain regions of the state have ample nearby slaughter capacity, other regions lack accessible slaughter facilities. Also, overall, the state has the capacity to slaughter more livestock than is produced within its borders, but may not have the same processing capacity (which was not directly addressed in this study). This research can lead to further in-depth analysis of slaughter and processing opportunities and limitations in Maryland.
In just the last five months of 2012, a “guerrilla cartography” project came together called Food: An Atlas. Led by Darin Jensen at UC Berkeley, the project started with a global call for maps about food – asking for any and all maps related to food from around the world. We at CLF couldn’t miss the opportunity to be part of this project and submitted two maps that will be included: the Maryland Meat Map and Baltimore Food Swamps. The final book has just hit the press and a website is being developed for a spring release. To learn more about the project and what “guerrilla cartography” is all about, check out these articles on The Atlantic and Huffington Post, and on Facebook.
Ever since Baltimore was founded in 1729, it has had a strong food processing and distribution industry. Its location in the middle of the east coast, on a harbor, and farther inland than other east coast ports makes it an ideal location for accepting raw products, processing them, and distributing them across the United States and around the world. This historical map/timeline of Baltimore shows the development of the city’s rich food-related industries, as well as the departure of many of these industries from the city in the last three decades. Understanding Baltimore’s past offers fascinating insight into the character of its neighborhoods and communities today.
In 2011, we partnered with the Baltimore Food Policy Initiative, in the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability, to update our food desert map. This new map was part of an effort to redefine “food desert” and more accurately characterize the food environment, in a way Baltimore can use for policy and planning purposes. The new definition: Areas where a supermarket is more than a quarter-mile walk; places to buy unhealthy foods are more prevalent than places to buy fresh or healthy foods; median household income is no more than 185 percent above the poverty line; and at least 40 percent of households lack access to an automobile.
For the past three years, we have worked with Maryland Hunger Solutions to assist their effort to reach children in need of supplemental meals outside of the school year. The maps we created show current Summer Feeding Program Sites and schools with a large concentration of children from low-income families. The maps helped in the development of new sites in or near schools without a Summer Feeding Program.