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A New England Food Vision describes a future in which New England produces at least half of the region’s food—and no one goes hungry. It looks ahead half a century and sees farming and fishing as important regional economic forces; soils, forests, and waterways cared for sustainably; healthy diets as a norm; and access to food valued as a basic human right. Developed by Food Solutions New England, it proposes changes in food production, distribution, and consumption reaching from the most rural areas to the densest cities—across the entire food system. It envisions New Englanders in 2060 eating more diverse and healthier foods than today, with three times as much land (15% of the region, or 6 million acres) producing food: several hundred thousand acres in and around cities devoted to intensive production and several million acres of rural farmland abandoned since World War II supporting crops and livestock.
New England Food Vision is neither a prediction nor a prescription. It is not a specific plan. It explores what could happen if society were to commit to supporting sustainable food production in New England, improving New Englanders’ diets, and ensuring the right to healthy food for all. The result could be an attractive pastoral landscape coexisting with extensive woodlands and clean waterways, surrounding vital, green suburbs and cities. The result could also be a population enjoying healthy, nutritionally sound diets, thus reducing enormous health care and other social costs. Realizing this vision will reap large benefits for the region in economic well-being, health, and environmental quality. But it is ultimately a matter of choice: the choices of thousands of property owners about how to manage their land, millions of consumers about how to eat, and all New Englanders, collectively, about the policies that support an equitable and resilient food system.