Global Food systems

The global food system’s problems are obese, similar to one of its problem – obesity. The problems range from fossil fuel exploitation to economic, social and health deterioration. Globalization and technological advancement teamed with rapid urbanization in food producing, processing and transporting has created multiple impacts on the food system. The food system has now been converted into a food “Industry”, where every process requires some sort of energy, mostly non-renewable and is based on economic viability, without much thought to other aspects. The root cause of many of the problems, the food systems are facing and causing, is the disconnection between the source of the food and the destination of the food. This particular notion that the production area (country side) is different from the consumer area (Urban), and that the two parts of the food system need not be inter – linked has damaged food systems to a large extent. Only immediate recovery options will help to bring back the status quo of the situation.

The change in the functioning of the food systems and the components that make the system, like manual labor changing to fossil fuel, manure to fertilizers, has had dual impacts on the environment and life systems. On one side it has helped to increase the food production in quantity for the ever-increasing population, while causing environmental damage with use of chemical fertilizers and fossil fuels and polluting the rivers.

All the problems are man-made, he intervened with the simple and efficient process, assuming that it will be for a better economic society, without considering its ecological and social footprint. Solutions to solve these daunting flaws in the food system would begin with bringing a connecting bond the source and destination, as in travel, the shorter the better, which in terms of economic and environmental factors, is mutually beneficial. Dealing with problems of disappearing land , in the sense of rapid urbanization , can be solved with utilization of urban vacant spaces that are devoid of any activity , to create a system of urban farm lands. This concept of urban farming has been in existence since the wars. In the present context it can begin with another concept of “ edible landscape” and “organic farming “ , that can be part of front or backyards. Bringing the food production closer to the consumption will reduce most of the problems of food systems. Similarly, urban waste can be transformed to manure for the urban farmland. What is emphasized here is that, communities whether in an rural or urban setting need to become self sustaining, rather than depending on external sources. While all this is theoretical, a change in people’s opinion on the functioning of the food system is where the problem will reach a solution stage.


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