Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Food Studies

First Advisor

Alison Alkon

First Committee Member

Pauline Adema


In October 2012, then-Mayor Kevin Johnson, surrounded by the region’s chefs, restaurateurs, and others working in the food arena, proclaimed the City of Sacramento “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.” The basis for the designation, in part, was Sacramento’s geographic proximity to agricultural production. With more than 50 farmers markets and between 7,000 – 8,000 acres of “boutique farms” in the region, the Mayor stated the designation would be more than “simply a marketing campaign.” Based on interviews with a wide variety of people working in “local food” (including a non-profit organization with a mission to get kids to eat their vegetables, large corporations, and small businesses) this thesis will explore the concept of local food in Sacramento, the Farm-to-Fork movement and what it has meant for the region. With an annual festival that has seen increased attendance in each of its five years, from an estimated 50,000 people the first year, to 75,000 people in 2016, the designation branded Sacramento as a food destination city bringing visitors and their dollars as intended. Beyond a well-attended festival, what has the history behind the title of America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital meant to the local food system and how has it impacted local farmers, chefs, restaurateurs and those whose livelihoods are closely tied to food?

Included in

Food Studies Commons



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