The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project research team recommends the following resources to learn more about food systems and sustainability.

USDA ERS Loss Adjusted Food Availability - This data system includes three distinct yet related series pertaining to food availability for consumption: Food availability, Loss-adjusted food availability, and Nutrient availability. The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project accessed Loss-adjusted Food Availability to serve a proxy for actual consumption (ERS2012) and identified the proportion of individual foods consumed in a food group. In addition, these data were used to estimate the amount of agricultural commodities required after accounting for losses that occur along the supply chain, from the production of primary food commodities to the to the consumer level. These losses include food spoilage, plate waste, and the non-edible share.

USDA ERS Weights, Measures and Conversion Factors for Agricultural Commodities and Their Products - This agricultural handbook (AH-697) provides data on the weights of standard volumetric units by commodity, product composition, processing yields, and conversion factors. The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project used this resource to estimate the quantity of agricultural commodities required to produce each primary food commodity as well as convert between volumetric and weight measurements.

USDA ARS Nutrient Database for Standard Reference - This database provides nutritional information for raw, processed and prepared foods commonly consumed. Using Release 23, the Foodprints and Foodsheds Project accessed information pertaining to calories, carbohydrates, lipids, protein, water content and serving weight. Food descriptions from this database were matched to the individual foods from the ERS Food Availability list. For this project, selection criteria chose foods in their most natural form without additives.

USDA NASS Yield Data - Quick Stats contains data from both the Census of Agriculture and annual surveys. The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project obtained yield data for all agricultural commodities that produced the food commodities. This project primarily used survey yield data, averaged across the decade 2000-2010. If survey information was not available, yield data were taken from the Census of Agriculture, state bulletins, peer-reviewed literature, and industry reports.

Note that state offices of the National Agricultural Statistics Service produce some surveys on an irregular basis to address questions of particular interest to that state. These publications and annual summaries of each state’s agricultural statistics can be found at its state office home page. To find a state’s local field office web page, use the “Statistics by State” dropdown menu on the USDA-NASS home page, found on the left-hand side of the page.

USDA NASS Census of Agriculture Desktop Query Tool 1.02 - This downloadable application provides local computer desktop access to the 2007 and 2002 Census of Agriculture data. Data are searchable by Census table and all tables may be exported in .csv format (NASS 2009). The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project accessed this application to delineate available farmland acreage and to obtain yield data for some of the agricultural commodities when NASS survey data were not available.

USDA NRCS Geospatial Data Gateway - The Geospatial Data Gateway (GDG) is comprehensive clearinghouse for environmental and natural resources data, provided through a close partnership among the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, and Rural Development (NRCS 2013). The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project accessed the following datasets from this service: National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD), Soil Survey Spatial and Tabular Data (SSURGO), and General Soil Map (STATSGO) in order to generate weighted production yields by zone.

US Census Bureau - The US Census Bureau provides tabular and geospatial demographic data collected from the decennial census. The Foodprints and Foodsheds Project integrated the 2010 Census Block Group Population spatial and tabular files with the Urban Areas and Urban Clusters (UAUC) spatial files. This integration assigned demographic data to the nearest geographic center of population.


State Models
Dig into research about foodprints and foodsheds in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New York.
Fact Sheets
Learn more about ways the relationship between diet and land can create a more sustainable food system.
In the News

Read the latest news about foodprints, foodsheds and sustainable food systems.

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