The Sonora-Arizona borderlands region encompassing southern Arizona and northern Mexico can claim some of the most impassioned advocates of an ecologically sustainable and socially just food system than anywhere else in North America. Its designation as a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO in 2016 attests to the region’s rich agricultural and food heritage and knowledge. The annual The State of the Tucson Food System (STFS) report seeks to support the efforts of diverse social actors and institutions working across various sectors of the Sonora-Arizona borderlands food system by collecting and synthesizing the most recent data available to underscore successes, problems, and barriers.
Mr. Keegan Krause is co-author of the report which is produced by the Center for Regional Food Studies at the University of Arizona. Mr. Keegan is a dual master’s degree student in Latin American Studies and Public Health with a concentration in family and child health at the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
[Photo: Mr. Keegan Krause]
Based on feedback from various organizations, groups, and individuals, the contents of the 2018 STFS report have been organized around a particular framework, namely Whole Measures for Community Food Systems (2009) — a comprehensive toolkit that has been used by municipalities across North America for community development and planning purposes. The toolkit offers one means to documenting change in the Sonora-Arizona regional food system by assembling data around a set of variables and through a process that can be revised and replicated over time.
As such, the 2018 report can be viewed as a tool for food system stakeholders to engage in a process of planning and setting priorities for changes to local, regional, and binational food system practices and policy-making