The conceptualization of sustainability has evolved greatly since the Bruntland commission defined it as comprising the "three E’s." of environment, equity and economics (WCED, 1987). As a concept, sustainability has been both broadened to include such additional themes as cultural and creative dimensions, and deepened into a broad variety of specific policy domains, such as local food policy (Moldavanova, 2013). This paper examines 1) the centrality of local food policy in the system of sustainability initiatives in a sample of counties in the United States; and 2) assesses the role of social capital in variations in food policy initiatives and in the relationship of those initiatives to the major dimensions of sustainability.
Keywords: Local food policy, sustainability initiatives, social capital, U.S. counties, local food systems, farmers’ markets.