Locally Nourished

How a stronger regional food system improves the Bay Area
SPUR Report
May 13, 2013

Photo by Eli Zigas

Each day, millions of Bay Area residents shop at grocery stores and farmers’ markets, cook meals at home, dine at restaurants and compost their food waste. Individually, our food choices impact our taste buds, pocketbooks and health. Collectively, though, our choices have an enormous impact throughout the region — on the future of agricultural land, the viability of thousands of food businesses and the size of our environmental footprint.

Taking steps to strengthen the Bay Area's regional food system can help us preserve agricultural land that is at risk of being developed, promote economic development within the food industry and reduce greenhouse gases by diverting our food waste. Local cities and counties have begun taking action on these steps, but to truly meet the challenge and take advantage of the opportunity facing the Bay Area, policymakers must build upon and accelerate their efforts. This SPUR report recommends a series of policies that would help us capture even more benefits from our food system.

About the Authors: 

The SPUR Board of Directors reviewed, debated and adopted this report as official policy on February 20, 2013.

This report was made possible with the generous support of the 11th Hour Project, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Columbia Foundation, Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Seed Fund and TomKat Charitable Trust.

SPUR lead staff:
Eli Zigas

Research assistant:
Sarah Dominguez

Special thanks for research and mapping assistance:
Katherine Bell, Adam Garcia, Anna Gore, Josephine Lau, Carsten
Rodin, Molly Schremmer, Mary Sek and D. Jan Visaya

Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Policy Board:
Allison Arieff, SPUR
Rosie Branson Gill, 18 Reasons
Michaela Cassidy, SPUR Board
Anthony Chang, California FarmLink & Kitchen Table Advisors
Karen Heisler, Mission Pie
Michael Janis, San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market
Paula Jones, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Sibella Kraus, Sustainable Agriculture Education
Jeremy Madsen, Greenbelt Alliance
Blair Randall, Garden for the Environment
V. Fei Tsen, SPUR Board
Francesca Vietor, San Francisco Foundation
Isabel Wade, Urban Resource Systems
Randy Wittorp, Kaiser Permanente
Heather Wooten, ChangeLab Solutions

Resources and reviewers:
Misti Arias, Morgan Bender-deMoll, Renata Brillinger, Carle Brinkman, Richard Casale, Karen Chapple, Jennifer Dempsey, Alex Dmitriew, Gail Feenstra, Lisa Feldstein, Adam Garcia, Doug Henton, Melissa Hippard, Sarah Karlinsky, Kirk Lennington, Kathryn Lyddan, Andrea Mackenzie, Brian Matthews, Albie Miles, Miguel Monroy, Laura Moreno, Robert Reed, Stephanie Reyes, Paul Ringgold, Tom Robinson, Don Rocha, Mark Shorett, Diana Sokolove, Larry Strong, Laura Tam, Michael B. Teitz, Egon Terplan, Sapna Thottathil, Rebecca Tolentino and Serena Unger

Special thanks to the Greenbelt Alliance for their assistance with mapping and GIS analysis.