Between 1982 and 2007, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and three other Northeastern states lost a larger proportion of their agricultural lands to development than anywhere else in the country. The region now has more than 20% of the United States’ population, but only 5 to 6% of its farmland. As much as 75 to 80% of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the Northeast come from faraway places like California, and more than seven million of its citizens lack access to healthy and affordable food. Add in uncertainties like California’s extreme, ongoing drought, and it’s clear why many people believe the Northeast is vulnerable when it comes to food. At the same time, other researchers were looking at the issue from different, but related, angles. Stephan Goetz, a Penn State University agricultural economist, was interested in the economic benefits of regional food production—not only for farmers, but also food distributors, retailers, and others businesses in the supply chain.