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Studies on Regional Food Systems: Refining measures of spatial access and evaluating the role of social capital in farming resilience

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Abstract

This doctoral dissertation presents research from two projects on regional food systems. The first project critically reviews methodological limitations to the measurement of food access, findings from which span chapters 1-3. Chapter 1 presents a critical literature review of the methodological limitations of food access studies and proposes properties of an accurate measurement index. In Chapter 2, a dataset of food establishments scraped from Google Maps is used to establish new distance thresholds for greater urban-rural parity, develop an index with better predictive power for measuring the effects of food access on obesity and social equity, and consequently revise definitions of food deserts/food swamps. Chapter 3 argues that not accounting for variations in regional patterns of spatial density has resulted in an overestimation of disparities in physical food access, which masks underlying social barriers to food equity. The second project in Chapter 4, presents partial findings from an ongoing study that looks at impacts to vegetable growers during the pandemic and the role of social capital in mediating their adaptive strategies.

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148 pages

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Date Issued

2022-08

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Keywords

Agricultural systems; Food access; Food systems; Geographical Information Systems; Public health; Social capital

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Union Local

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Committee Chair

Donaghy, Kieran Patrick

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Committee Member

Allred, Shorna Broussard
Carruthers, John

Degree Discipline

Regional Science

Degree Name

Ph. D., Regional Science

Degree Level

Doctor of Philosophy

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Government Document

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dissertation or thesis

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