|Author: ||D. Pearson|
|Keywords: ||organic produce, local food, civic agriculture, gardens, consumers|
The world food system involves many organizations and individuals who operate at different scales of production and in diverse geographic locations.
In many developed countries, like Australia, it is dominated by global sourcing from supermarkets and the food service sector.
However, there are many schemes working towards increasing food production close to where people live.
These complement global food networks.
Urban Agriculture is one such initiative.
It involves the production of food in space that is within and immediately surrounding cities.
There are a range of activities that support the production of food in urban areas, and in the Australian context, they all contribute to reducing the negative impacts that the food system has on the natural environment.
In addition, they provide differing levels of social, economic and health benefits.
The only urban agricultural activities that make an identified and superior contribution to human health are farmers markets, food co-ops, peri-urban agriculture, private gardens, and community gardens.
The inclusion of organic food production methods enhance their human health credentials.
This research contributes to the literature by providing a detailed analysis of the components of this human health benefit.
This has identified that the dietary benefits are significant, and the mental health modest, across all urban agricultural activities.
In addition, both community and private gardens make a significant contribution to physical health whilst community gardens also contribute to social health.
These results confirm that continued protection and enhancement of the support provided to farmers markets, food co-ops, peri-urban agriculture, private gardens, and community gardens will assist the Government in achieving its environmental agenda.
Further, increased policy support for private and community gardens that use organic production methods will assist the Government in meeting its health policy aims.
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