To understand food sustainability, you must first know what the food systems used to produce the food entails. Food systems commonly referred to as FS refers to the wide range of people involved in how food is produced, processed, distributed, consumed, and disposed of. It is a chain that brings together different players.
Characteristics of Sustainable Food Systems
- Profitable (Economic Stability): A sustainable food system is one that cushions both the farmer and the consumer from losses. It needs to be profitable from the early stages of production to the moment it lands on the plate, and even after that. This means that it needs to take into consideration things like how to mitigate post-harvest losses. These technologies can be used to boost productivity, and how to leverage against the big producers.
- Benefits Society (Social Sustainability): One of the reasons why people champion sustainable food systems is because they want something that will benefit the society they live in. It is a broad concept that includes ensuring that the producers of the foods are well paid for their effort, and that the entire community feels the benefits of producing the food.
- Safe for Environment (Environmental Sustainability): Sustainable food systems also look at how the production of the food is safe for the environment. Currently, some of the big farms are the ones that are causing the most carbon emission to the atmosphere through the farming practises they use. These include the heavy use of fertilizers, rearing animals and feeding them chemical-laden feeds, which in turn end up causing health complications and also ruining the environment. A sustainable food system looks into how the process of food production can be done without adverse effects on the environment. It also equips the people who produce and consume food on the importance of having an environmentally sustainable food system.