Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Soil and Water Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342382

Research Project: Developing Agricultural Practices to Protect Water Quality and Conserve Water and Soil Resources in the Upper Midwest United States

Location: Soil and Water Management Research

Title: Growing food in urban areas: Food security, community benefits, any concerns?

item Rice, Pamela
item JILINSKI, NIC - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Over 80% of our nation’s population lives in urban areas, including Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the 16th most populous metropolitan area in the USA, with 3.3 million inhabitants. Trends of growing urban populations and increased desire for locally sourced food have culminated in greater public interest in urban agriculture. For example, the Twin Cities metro area has more than 500 community gardens, 75 farmers markets, and local government commitment as demonstrated by both Minneapolis and Saint Paul allowing agricultural use of city-owned vacant property. Local food production offers benefits to individuals and communities, providing nutritious fresh produce and reducing food insecurity. Despite the increased popularity of urban agriculture, little is known about sources, quantity and fate of a wide range of potential contaminants in these unique systems. Population density, varying land uses, and changes in land uses inherently result in greater risk of exposure to contaminants from anthropogenic activity. Contaminants in urban agriculture can result from the urban environment or agricultural inputs utilized in horticultural crop production. This presentation will provide an overview of urban agriculture and discuss things we should consider investigating to ensure environmental and human health.