What are the factors of food sustainability?

The long-term goal of food sustainability is to produce enough food to support the human population. The intrinsic factors for ensuring a sustainable food system are fertile land, water, fertilizers, a stable climate and energy. Fortunately, an increasing number of farms and farmers are adopting more sustainable agricultural practices. The concept of “food system” contrasts with the notions of agriculture and the production and consumption of food as a simple, linear chain that goes from farm to table.

Food systems, on the other hand, are complex networks that include all the inputs and outputs associated with agricultural and food production and consumption. Food systems can vary substantially from one place to another and over time, depending on the specific conditions of the place. The concept of food systems provides a comprehensive framework through which to evaluate the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. Sustainable Gastronomy Day highlights the high cost of current agricultural methods and dietary options.

It requires a radical transformation to ensure food security and a healthy planet. Sustainable cuisine includes dietary options that take into account the origin of the ingredients, how they are grown and processed, and how they reach our stores and our tables. The United Nations (UN) Zero Hunger goal requires combined and consistent efforts to promote health and food security through sustainability practices. The UN defines food sustainability as “the idea that something (p.

ex.,. Food sustainability depends on sustainable food systems. They are based on subsystems, including agricultural, waste management and supply systems, that interact with trade, energy and health systems. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) states that a sustainable food system (SFS) must provide nutrition and food security for all in a way that is economically viable and socially beneficial.

In turn, SFS rely on sustainable agriculture, which depends on access to fertile land with healthy soils, a stable climate and clean water and energy. However, achieving food sustainability for the planet does not only depend on the agricultural industry or on world powers. Individual choices also play an important role in the well-being of food systems. The World Food Programme reports that more than 1 in 9 people around the world (821 million people) go hungry every day.

Hunger and malnutrition are such a widespread problem that the UN has emphasized that “a profound change in the global food and agricultural system is needed to address it”. This change must include the fight for sustainable food production. The global food system encompasses all economic sectors. Understanding its components is essential to developing and implementing effective measures to strengthen it.

Agricultural land covers 38% of the Earth's land area, and the growing world population is depleting this limited land resource. Conventional agricultural practices have led to the loss of carbon and biomass and to land degradation. FAO cites the need for strategies to “maximize crop productivity and, at the same time, minimize the possible environmental impact due to excessive habitat loss and the excessive use of natural resources, such as soils and water”. It indicates that, “in line with current trends in socio-economic development, food emissions are increasingly determined by energy use, industrial activities and waste management.”.

The European Commission calls for specific energy efficiency and decarbonization policies to reduce these emissions. Research suggests that agriculture is one of the main drivers of global environmental change and, in turn, is also deeply affected by climate change. Approximately 71% of these food emissions came from agriculture and the “associated use” of land. The rest came from factors that include industrial processes, packaging, transportation, retail, fuel production, waste management and consumption.

However, in an interview with Medical News Today, Patrick Holden, executive director of the Sustainable Food Trust in Bristol (England), explained that if animals are raised within a regenerative agriculture system, this could offset the impact of other farm animal husbandry practices. However, while it is true that the persistence of methane in the atmosphere is shorter than that of other greenhouse gases, environmental researchers have pointed out that, taken together, it is also significantly more potent. The impact of a single ton of methane over 100 years is roughly the same as that of 28 tons of carbon dioxide. Food products grown in harmony with nature tend to cost much more than the standard food on supermarket shelves.

This causes many people to resist the idea of making the transition to healthier and more Earth-friendly foods. Holden warns that these costs are often passed “on to future generations or other countries,” as is the case with climate change, the extinction of species and the destruction of the rainforest. Around a third of the food produced is lost along the food chain. Food losses can occur before, during, and after harvest.

Some of the causes of this include human carelessness, negligence, process inefficiencies, and inadequate packaging. Food waste in homes is also a problem, and some research indicates that in the United States, for example, the average household throws away 31.9% of the food purchased by household members. Researchers agree that it is important to teach about healthy nutrition and food sustainability starting in elementary school. Some studies have even indicated a relationship between young people's interest in food production practices and their adherence to healthy dietary patterns.

Holden is sure that many people want to help change the current trajectory of the food system. However, he sees widespread confusion about options at the individual level. More than 30 leading scientists contributed to the EAT-Lancet report on healthy diets based on sustainable food systems. The Commission offers an evidence-based perspective on what a sustainable diet should look like and what measures can promote and accelerate food system change.

Holden agrees with the need to increase the intake of plant-based foods. However, he doesn't agree with the report's advice to reduce red meat consumption. From his perspective, “we must discern which livestock products we include in our diet and which are part of the solution. Holden advocates moving away from “intensive commercial agriculture” that depends on international trade, fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics that suppress diseases in plants and animals.

Instead, it practices and recommends localized agriculture designed to mimic nature and promote “positive health.”. The UN understands that the global system needs restructuring to be more environmentally sustainable. Local, national and international forces must collaborate to this end. FAO hopes that “harnessing consumer influence and collective demand” will transform agri-food systems, making them more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

Bees provide honey, but they are also essential for pollination, without which food would not grow. Learn more about the importance of bees here. Implementing strong food waste prevention strategies, such as changing the acceptance criteria for fresh produce (ugly cucumbers) instead of weak prevention strategies (developing new best practices for food business operators), could achieve more in terms of long-term sustainability. The consumer may consider that the food is unsuitable and unsafe and, consequently, throw it away.

Food waste waste after biogas production could be valuable as fertilizers and reduce the resource footprint of food production. The enormous amounts of high-performance analytical and image metadata collected with these instruments will provide a holistic view of the deterioration and decomposition processes of various food products under various storage conditions (temperature and packaging), which will make it possible to better predict the food supply. Big data analysis promises a path forward to achieve greater sustainability by reducing food loss and waste while ensuring food safety and quality. In foods subject to fraud, RFID tags, together with blockchains, could verify the origin and destination of the food.

Another cause for concern is the growing speculation in food prices, as hedge funds become increasingly important players in the markets for food products such as wheat, oilseeds and corn. Food loss rates in food retail, influencing factors and reasons as a basis for waste prevention measures. However, it is vital to achieve the right balance between food safety, food security and economic, social and environmental sustainability. Food loss and waste also represent the loss of labor, capital, water, energy, land and other resources that were used to produce food and, therefore, threaten sustainability.

The hierarchy of strategies to reduce food losses and waste is, in descending order, to reduce the source, reuse or reprocess leftover food, recycle food as animal feed, recover energy as biofuels, nutrients as fertilizer or raw materials for industry, while, as a last resort, the possibility of recovering energy through incineration or dumping as waste in landfills can be considered as waste. The BSE epidemic led to the tightening of controls on feed producers, the reprocessing of plant foods in the European Union, and it was forbidden to feed animals destined for food with food scraps. Food waste, on the other hand, refers to the disposal of food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption, for example, throwing tomato cans in the trash if the labels on the can are incomplete or if the labels on the can are incomplete or if the labels have been peeled off. An important element of food security is the ability of governments to mitigate famines by importing food from other areas.

The key considerations of this approach include the ecological dimensions, the resource footprint and resilience, the social dimension of food security, and the improvement of the livelihoods of global food production systems. Food insecurity mainly affects low-income groups, with a greater risk of hunger and malnutrition. The International Monetary Fund (Arezki and Brückner, 201) found a correlation between rising food prices and social unrest in low-income countries. .

Lisa Christin
Lisa Christin

Friendly beer advocate. Certified bacon scholar. Certified social media maven. Unapologetic twitter maven. Wannabe pop culture junkie.

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