Big Shoes to Fill: An Investigation of the Halifax Food Footprint
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In response to increasing urbanization and demand for local food, this study aims to contextualize the land area needed to feed urban Halifax, Nova Scotia, through the calculation of a food footprint. Derived from ecological footprinting methodology, this analysis utilizes per capita consumption and Nova Scotia agricultural yields. The results of the food footprint analysis determine that just over 200,000 hectares of agriculturally productive land are needed to feed the city of Halifax. Currently there are 113,672 hectares being used for commercial agricultural production in Nova Scotia. Therefore, Nova Scotia does not have the capacity to meet the consumption demands of the Halifax population. Due to the restrictive growing conditions of Atlantic Canada’s geography and climate, increasing food production capacity is extremely difficult. Thus, further research into, and additional support for, unconventional methods of agricultural production are recommended, as alternative strategies to satisfy the Halifax food footprint.