We have begun our exploration into the world of food hubs. Our end goal as a studio is to implement a food hub in Las Vegas, Nevada. The research process started with answering the question: "What is a food hub?"
The United Stated Department of Agriculture defines a food hub as, “A centrally located facility with a business management structure facilitating the aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and/or marketing of locally/ regionally produced food products.” But what does that mean? A food hub can vary in size, style, and appearance but its mission is to improve the food access, agricultural industry, and food education for the local people.
Food hubs are a step towards improving public health and improving the broken food system. A food system is a complicated web of interconnecting parts that follow the process of food from its growth to its consumption and everywhere in between. Historically, food systems were mostly a local process. Food or livestock would be grown on a farm and then that farmer would distribute, store, and market it. However, after World War II things began to change, Globalization and industrialization mad food systems much larger and efficient. A small local farmer would transport its food to a large factory where it would be combined with other small farmers food, instead of the farmer distributing and selling it him or herself. That is a broad summary of how the food system changed to become more efficient and eliminated the individuality of products and importance of local farms as a negative side affect.
The mission of a food hub is to restore local and regional food systems to bring back the individuality and importance of local farmers. By improving that system, the quality of food will increase, people will be more knowledgeable of where there food is coming from, and the importance of local farms will be increase. The vision of Las Vegas as a booming tourist city is a facade that covers the reality of an impoverished food desert. Our mission is to improve the long-term health of the Las Vegas communities and environment, increase supply and demand for local, affordable food, and strengthen the local food system.