January 4, 2015

Defining a Healthy, Sustainable Food System

Happy New Year! 
This is a time of renewal.

I like to soak up the sunrise, appreciate the sunset, and spend dark nights in peaceful reflection. 

As part of my personal and professional goals for this year, I would like to hear more from you.

What is your definition of a healthy, sustainable food system?

Here is mine.

Health is a changing state of balance.
A healthy food system is a living network, non-hierarchical and springing from mutual agreements to cultivate health, diversity, equity, and economic balance.

Because everyone must eat to live, it must adapt to environmental, social, and political changes while stewarding the well-being of land, workers, production, and eaters. This food system is grounded in gastronomic traditions, small-scale farming practices, and the need to provide for future generations. Its respect for diversity of people, eco-systems, and choices ensures the best practices for cultivation and production in accordance with local need and capacity. Connected enough to sustain local bio-diversity, cultural identity, nourishment, and sense of purpose, this system provides equal access to whole, simple, contaminant-free ingredients.

When change occurs, the community-minded system, where everyone has a voice, can collaborate to make decisions based on the health of people and planet. 

Here is the definition created by Mother Earth News.

  1. Focus on community empowerment to grow food and seek out natural remedies to heal friends and family;
  2. Promote research in the field of agro-ecology in order to influence congressional farm policy;
  3. Sell publications and subscriptions to educate privileged members of the food system about gardening, natural health, and consumption.
These are the strategies they use to bring it about:
  1. Research: They request donations to support non-profits such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, whose research and reports model sustainable farming practices. They promote farm policy by encouraging reader to write letters to congress on behalf of farmers, sound farming practices, and research.
  2. Education: They inform readers about conferences to learn more about sustainable farming practices. This invitation comes with mention of the conferences’ corporate sponsors such as Clif Bar, Nutiva and Driscoll’s.
  3. Access: They work to build community food security by inspiring readers to create the conditions in their lives for equitable food access in their communities through blog posts about personal stories.
What is your definition of a healthy, sustainable food system?

What do you need to participate in the regional food system, cook meals from scratch with whole ingredients, and include more fruit and vegetables in your diet?

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