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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Interior Design

First Advisor

Camden Whitehead


According to Michael Pollan's article in Mother Jones Magazine, "The typical fruit or vegetable on an American's plate travels some 1,500 miles to get there, and is frequently better traveled and more worldly than its eater" (Pollan 38). The majority of citizens living in or near metropolitan centers rarely come in contact with produce pre-barcode; that is, produce still connected to the earth or not yet processed for mass distribution and consumption. This is especially the case in urban settings where land is at a premium and is valued more for residential and commercial purposes than for food production. In the case of U.S. cities, though we produce sufficiently to feed our population, the majority of produce consumed is grown outside of state lines if not entirely outside of the country. "In 2004, the U.S. exported nearly $20 million worth of lettuce - over 3/4 of it grown in California - to Mexico. The same year, it imported $20 million worth of Mexican lettuce" (Pollan 43). It is far more likely that urbanites seek references from their car mechanics and tailors than from producers of the food they consume. Locally grown and consumed food has several quality-of-life enhancing attributes, most importantly providing fresher, more nutritious produce with a known history, increased self-sufficiency with respect to food, and reduced environmental impact caused by reduced inter and intra-national transportation.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008