scientists offer blueprint for sustainable redesign of food systems
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New research describes food systems designed not by the logic of growth such as efficiency and extraction, but by principles of sufficiency, regeneration, distribution, commons, and care. It argues that food systems can instead be the foundation of healthy communities, ecologies and economies.

“For this agenda-setting article, we’ve reviewed the vast experience of diverse farmers, food cooperatives, home gardeners, alternative retailers, and other endeavors to re-claim what sustainability for food systems means in high and low-income nations,” the authors say.

Growth paradigm

The authors call for policymakers, researchers and community groups worldwide to rethink their approach to developing new solutions beyond the current “growth paradigm.”

“We have seen what food systems designed to achieve relentless economic growth and profit maximization do to the environment, farming communities, and our health, and it’s not good,” says Dr. Steven McGreevy, an assistant professor of institutional urban sustainability studies at the University of Twente.

The current system is exploitative of humans and animals, ecologically rapacious, hooked on fossil fuels, and controlled by a small number of multi-national corporations from food to fork, this system produces massive quantities of the wrong foods at incredible social, ecological and economic costs. With food crises again looming on the near horizon, a strategy to tweak and maintain the current growth-driven food system is highly questionable.

Post-growth food system

“Fortunately, there are countless examples from around the world of post-growth agrifood system elements in action. We need to support these models where they exist, and rediscover, transfer, or further develop them where appropriate,” says McGreevy.

The authors identified post-growth agrifood system endeavors already in action around the world.

Food production: The adoption of agroecological farming and gardening into the current food systems can enhance biodiversity, maintain fertile soils, and improve system resilience to social and ecological shocks.Food business and trade: Community-based business models such as cooperatives and benefit corporations without profit-maximizing motives can anchor sustainability in businesses and prioritize the health and well-being of the environment and the public.Food culture: Closer relationships with food and the processes which it goes through to reach us can create a culture of appreciation in which we value food as a “commons” and the people working in the agrifood system.Food system governance: Food is connected to multiple siloes of governance—agriculture, public health, land planning, education, tourism, etc.—that are often working independently, rather than in an integrative way. Food policy councils (FPCs) are one example of new governance structures that are inclusive and representative of diverse public and private stakeholders and cut across multiple sectors of policy expertise related to food.

New research agenda

According to the study published in Nature Sustainability, the conventional wisdom of mainstream sustainability science–including its underlying logic of economic growth—is fixated on narrow solution space: increasing production efficiency, high-tech innovation and individual behavior change.

To break free of these intellectual constraints, the redesign of the global agrifood system should be supported by a coordinated education and a new research agenda that challenges conventional wisdom and focuses on understanding and developing diverse solutions outside of the growth paradigm. More information: Steven R. McGreevy et al, Sustainable agrifood systems for a post-growth world, Nature Sustainability (2022). DOI: 10.1038/s41893-022-00933-5 Journal information: Nature Sustainability

Provided by University of Twente Citation: Scientists offer blueprint for sustainable redesign of food systems (2022, August 9) retrieved 9 August 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-08-scientists-blueprint-sustainable-redesign-food.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

TECH NEWS RELATED

Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook in the Works, To Deliver Powerful Laptop Powered by Google

Lenovo is looking to bring a new personal computer for the public to utilize for their gaming needs, and it is a gaming Chromebook in the future release of the company. The famous tech manufacturer got leaked regarding its upcoming Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook that would soon deliver a ...

View more: Lenovo IdeaPad 5 Gaming Chromebook in the Works, To Deliver Powerful Laptop Powered by Google

Tesla EVs May Drive Through Puddles, Elon Musk Claims Submarines Have Electric Motors

The United States, particularly in Florida, is facing Hurricane Ian at the moment as another massive storm heads to the coastal area that Hurricane Fiona brought to the country from Puerto Rico. Now, there are fears about driving electric vehicles through puddles or shallow floods, with Elon Musk saying otherwise ...

View more: Tesla EVs May Drive Through Puddles, Elon Musk Claims Submarines Have Electric Motors

Adani, world’s 2nd richest man, will invest $100 billion in green energy

Elon Musk may be the trending name when it comes to Forbes’ list of richest men. However, there are way more entrepreneurs on the list, including Adani. Gautam Adani is the world’s second richest man and the chairman of India’s Adani Group. Due to his conquer of becoming the world’s ...

View more: Adani, world’s 2nd richest man, will invest $100 billion in green energy

Logitech G502 X Lightspeed review: The perfect mouse for MMO players

The Logitech G502 X Lightspeed is a reinvention of one of Logitech's most iconic mice. The G502 has always been a perennial favorite, thanks to its multiple programmable buttons and comfortable, ergonomic shape. The G502 X Lightspeed builds on the improvements already made in the previous Lightspeed model, featuring ...

View more: Logitech G502 X Lightspeed review: The perfect mouse for MMO players

Marvel’s Armor Wars is now a movie, not a Disney Plus show

Marvel is turning many of its projects that once would have been movies into TV shows, but one of the studio’s upcoming shows is now being redeveloped as a movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources claim that Marvel has scrapped the Armors Wars series in favor of an ...

View more: Marvel’s Armor Wars is now a movie, not a Disney Plus show

The 16 best Fortnite players in 2022

The gaming world assumed a new type of ecstasy with the advent of Fortnite in 2017. Epic Games’ Fortnite has redefined what online gaming represents. It went from being a four-player survival game to being the delightsome sensation that continuously arrests the attention of millions of internet users. In ...

View more: The 16 best Fortnite players in 2022

Tata Digital revenue jumps three-fold to about Rs 16,000 crore after acquisitions

Tata Digital, a subsidiary of the Tata group that invests in and operates its ecommerce vertical, reported a three-fold jump in consolidated revenue to Rs 15,979 crore in financial year 2021-22 (FY22) from Rs 5,315 crore in the previous financial year (FY21), according to the latest regulatory filings sourced from ...

View more: Tata Digital revenue jumps three-fold to about Rs 16,000 crore after acquisitions

Good Glamm to take beauty brands to international offline retail

Direct-to-consumer group Good Glamm will take four of its acquired beauty brands—Sirona, The Moms Co, St Botanica and Organic Harvest—to international markets, starting with retailing in large stores such as Carrefour, Lulu Mall and BabyShop in Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Good Glamm founder Darpan Sanghvi said. The move is ...

View more: Good Glamm to take beauty brands to international offline retail

TCS poised to seal likely $2 billion deal for BSNL 4G

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has minimal design changes

Microsoft Surface Studio 3 has been spotted

Google Stadia To Shutdown In Three Months Time

Stadia is Shutting Down in January — Will You Be Refunded?

Should C/C++ be deprecated in favour of Rust?

Most hackers need 5 hours or less to break into enterprise environments

Atlassian takes aim at app sprawl with collaboration-suite subscription service

Malware builder uses fresh tactics to hit victims with Agent Tesla RAT

The internet’s favorite Canadian comedy is about to move from Netflix to Hulu

FDA’s rotten definition of “healthy” food is finally getting tossed

Infinix Zero 20 brings a 60 MP selfie with OIS; Infinix Note 12 (2023) tags along

OTHER TECH NEWS

Top Car News Car News