In 2006, McDonald’s changed it’s purchasing policy so that it would no longer buy chickens fed soy, a leading cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. In the years since, McDonald’s policy change has been credited with saving acres of rainforest more than the entire efforts of the Brazilian government. Because McDonald’s is a large purchaser of food, it’s decisions have large repercussions for the global food system. Deforestation in Brazilian rainforest

With this in mind, we undertook an analysis of the food purchasing institutions in Syracuse and Onondaga County from a purchasing power standpoint.

We focused on Syracuse University as an example of a large purchaser of food in the local food system, and talked to university purchasers and alternative food network leaders to establish a picture of the local food system as it exists currently and where it can potentially go in the near future.