A Global Perspective on Food Systems
Keywords:Global Food Systems, Sustainability
There is a widespread perception, particularly among observers in the United States, that the world's food system is broken. Obesity rates now rival hunger rates in developed and developing countries. Both afflictions are more prevalent than they should be given the rising prosperity and technological advances that have occurred in many parts of the world in recent decades. Private corporations dominate large segments of the global agricultural economy—most notably in seed development and distribution—and unhealthy food products are marketed widely at prices affordable to most consumers. Agricultural development strains water and land resources, and farming operations generate nutrient and chemical pollution. Food and agricultural policies in many countries favor certain interest groups with only limited consideration for the larger social good.
Yet as 2015 unfolds it is clear that a growing appreciation for the biophysical and socioeconomic complexities of food systems is enabling communities throughout the world to manage agriculture in ways that promote healthy food products, rural income growth, and environmental services. Strategies for enriching food systems are numerous and highly varied at local to global scales. No silver bullet exists to assure food-system success, and it is particularly important for critics to keep an open mind with respect to the evolving opportunities and challenges of achieving food and nutrition security both at home and abroad....
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