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Coming out of the foodshed: Change and Innovation in Rural Alaskan Food Systems (2007) By Philip A. Loring

This is a thesis submitted by Philip A. Loring to the University of Alaska Fairbanks in part of his pursuance of M.A. degree. This work comprise of three valuable research papers which throws light on various aspects of food systems and investigates the vulnerability and changes in food system of rural Alaska and its native inhabitants in past and present. The first research paper focuses mainly on the historical perspective of cropping pattern and innovative gardening practices of native Alaskans. The second research paper sounds technical as it introduces the “service oriented architecture” as a framework for describing ecosystem services, with rural Alaskan model as an example. The third paper focuses its study particularly on the Athabascan village of minto and changes in their food system and food culture with development and global change and its wider application in the present global scenario.

The subject matter undertaken by the author is very significant and the information is presented in a very systematic manner. The food culture directly influences the culture, society and economics and vice versa. The food production is no more a local issue and here comes the global food industry with more and more processed food entering into the local market. This work illuminates the efforts of the Alaskan native community to strengthen the local food production and promoting the indigenous eating habits which is very important for maintaining the perfect health, ecological balance and over all well being of human life. The author has also highlighted the various climatic and legislative obstacles which resulted in shortage of traditional food and increased their dependence on store bought food. This concept of changes and vulnerability of food ways is not only true for the natives of Alaska but it applies to all communities of the world.

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