What are the four types of food system?

Remember the last meal you ate. How many different ingredients did it have? How did they find you? Where and how were they cultivated? If your food wasn't fully grown in your own personal garden, it was part of a larger food system. Food systems refer to the way in which we organize the production, distribution and consumption of food, and they are very important parts of our societies. While some food systems put pressure on the planet, others have less of an impact.

A food system is a complex network of activities that include the production, processing, transportation and consumption of food. Smaller systems can also exist within the larger system, such as economic, social, energy, marketing and financing systems. Food systems have also been classified as traditional, modern, or intermediate. Modern food systems such as those in the United States.

UU. Farms, businesses, and merchants are often specialized and operate on a large scale. The American Public Health Association currently defines a “sustainable food system” as one that “provides healthy food to meet current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food to future generations with minimal negative impact on the environment.”. A sustainable food system also promotes local production and distribution infrastructures and makes nutritious food available, accessible and affordable for all.

In addition, it is humane and fair, since it protects farmers and other workers, consumers and communities. So, is the food system in which it operates sustainable (by choice or circumstance)? Let's take a closer look. Environmentally sound food systems are those that aim to work in harmony with the earth to cause the least possible damage. They support diverse, complex and balanced biological systems.

A human food system is one in which natural resources and living beings, including human and non-human animals, are not exploited. Food systems and practices that are humane can be difficult to find. Much of modern food depends on large scale industrial farms that exploit animals for their meat and secretions and violate the rights of workers, while damaging the land. Farms that advertise themselves as being more humane, and small animal farms, do little to address many of the most pressing problems in livestock.

An economically viable food system is one in which producers and producers of food can cover their production costs and, at the same time, earn enough money to earn a living and maintain fluid food production. A socially just food system takes into account humans, plants, animals, the planet and local communities when making decisions about how food should be organized. These systems keep their production methods as cruelty free as possible and respect the rights of workers, while aiming to create access to healthy food available to all. As we mentioned earlier, there are many different types of food systems that can be classified in multiple ways.

However, there is a lot of talk about one division in particular, the one that exists between conventional and alternative food systems. It follows a conventional food system as a whole, but microcommunities and individuals are choosing to live differently and adopt alternative food systems. These systems often include local, organic, cooperative and fair trade systems, as well as other features. Does your community or household operate under an alternative food system? As concern for the planet, animal welfare and human rights increases, alternative food systems are becoming more popular.

Local food systems do everything possible to make everything related to food production local, from farms to processing plants, retail at grocery stores and consumers. Keeping everything local, or within a given community, maintains wealth in that specific community and improves their businesses and farmers. When people work in a local food system, they automatically reduce the amount of packaging, waste, and transportation needed to produce, store and take food to where it's sold. In addition to saving on waste and gas for transportation, local food systems should only consume what is in season.

A great demonstration of a local food system in action is an agricultural market. Here, farmers and local businesses sell or exchange their products that come from their specific area. People can go and buy fresh, freshly grown food. Organic food systems are those that depend on organic foods or on foods that are produced without the use of conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with sewage sludge or synthetic ingredients, bioengineering or ionizing radiation.

Before a product can be labeled “organic”, a government-approved certifier must inspect the farm. A food cooperative is a grocery store that is owned by people who shop and work there. Members decide what foods and products are stored, where those items are purchased, and what quality standards sellers must meet. Cooperatives often aim to provide high-quality food at fair prices.

A fair trade product offers consumers a certain guarantee that it has been marketed in a more ethical way than other products, which contributes to improving working conditions, protecting the planet and improving livelihoods. To feed an expanding world population, but still do everything possible to combat climate change and other environmental problems, many novel agricultural technologies have been developed. Agricultural innovations, alternative vegetable proteins and packaging materials used to reduce the carbon footprint of products are increasing, to name a few. Each food system works differently, but most have some type of the same basic processes of production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management.

No two communities in the world have exactly the same food system, but more and more people are participating in conventional food systems, and many will have in common that they do not realize the damage that is being done to themselves and to those around them when food arrives. For better or worse, every food system has an impact on climate change. Some, such as a conventional food system that depends heavily on imported food and focuses on meat and animal secretions, have a negative impact on the world around them and accelerate climate change. Our conventional food system, which is advancing rapidly and has a high production rate, contributes greatly to the violation of most of the planet's limits, harming the locals who live in the affected areas.

Undocumented people also tend to work, and “contract farmworkers face particularly difficult working conditions and have a much lower quality of life than most others in the U.S. Population. In addition, “the precarious citizenship and immigration situation of many agricultural workers often results in a lack of economic and political power and leaves them vulnerable to exploitation. A conventional food system that relies on meat and animal secretions for food has negative effects on human health.

A diet that includes meat, eggs and dairy products (the standard American diet) is full of pro-inflammatory foods mixed with artificial ingredients that, according to research, can affect brain function and increase the risk of physical and mental health problems. On the contrary, following a plant-based diet can promote better heart health, reduce the risk of cancer, improve kidney function, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and more. A conventional food system, such as the one we rely heavily on in the United States. For example, monocultures require manufactured fertilizers and pesticides that drain into soil and waterways.

CAFOs produce excess animal waste that pollutes air, water and soil. Our food production methods use finite resources without replenishing them. In addition, the way we produce and consume food directly contributes to global climate change. Some people live under a conventional food system and would like to transition to an alternative food system to live healthier, maintain wealth in their local community, reduce the suffering that animals suffer when used as food and live with less weight on the planet.

There are barriers that people face when they try to do so, such as food deserts. Food deserts are places where people have little or no access to healthy and affordable food, such as fruits and vegetables. It's important to note that food deserts are disproportionately located in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color. People who live in food deserts may live far from grocery stores, have individual barriers to accessing food, or lack reliable personal or public transportation.

In addition, some people who live with caregivers can't make decisions about what foods to buy and eat. Ultimately, current government subsidies make it easier for people to get processed and unhealthy foods, and more difficult for people to get healthy, fresh food. Conventional food systems that rely heavily on meat, dairy products and eggs, as well as on monocultures and the raising of products or animals on a large scale, harm humans, non-human animals and the planet. The transition to alternative food systems in which we support fair trade practices, cooperatives, farmer's markets, plant-based foods and proteins, organic agriculture and local practices will lead us to a better future.

Most agricultural subsidies are “harmful to people and the planet”, says the UN. We should all be concerned about the United Nations Food Systems Summit. Our food systems are complicated. Food facts don't have to be.

Calen is an activist, blogger and freelance writer who focuses on unlearning the harmful ideas that society has taught us and, at the same time, on creating direct change. We can also see that food systems work locally, regionally, nationally or internationally. Production, processing, distribution and consumption: Food systems require many steps, each with a variety of inputs and outputs. Production can look very different depending on the scale and cultivation methods used.

Whether they farm a half-acre plot or a 50,000 acre ranch, food producers have to make a lot of decisions about how they will grow food, including whether they will grow a single crop or a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables, and whether they will apply organic or synthetic fertilizers. While some farmers produce resources on their farms, an entire industry is based on production inputs, including seed companies, plant nurseries, animal feed companies, fertilizer producers, and others. Smallholder farmers often have problems accessing existing processing facilities, but building new ones is an expensive task. Currently, most of the meat consumed in the United States.

UU. It is processed in only a few slaughterhouses, but the recent closures of meatpacking plants due to COVID-19 have highlighted the danger of this practice. In the distribution stage, food reaches those who will prepare it for consumption. There is an almost infinite variety of ways to distribute food, both for a fee and for free.

Wholesalers combine products from many producers to sell them to schools, hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores. These large scale buyers often have different requirements than those who sell food to the general public, such as liquid eggs for restaurants and milk in containers for schools, and it can be difficult for producers to quickly change their production systems to meet different market needs. A major problem related to distribution is access to food. Programs such as SNAP and WIC are essential social safety net programs that help households buy nutritious and culturally relevant food.

SFC is currently leading the state expansion of the Double Up Food Bucks program, which doubles the value of SNAP and WIC benefits at many farmers markets and other local food outlets so that everyone can support the local food economy, regardless of income. Fair trade has emerged in global food systems to create a more excellent balance between the price of food and the cost of its production. Food systems are conventional or alternative depending on their model of the shelf life of food from source to plate. When applied to national food systems, a typology can help identify countries with similar food systems that are more likely to share the common factors of food, economic and environmental change and to respond to similar political actions or technological or institutional innovations.

Even in rural areas where supermarkets have not yet been established, these foods can reach consumers through modern to traditional food supply chains (Gomez and Ricketts, 2011). These problems are partly due to the complexity of food systems, which are defined as the combination of all the various elements and processes involved in the production, processing, distribution, marketing, preparation and consumption of food. This typology of food systems offers a more nuanced characterization of national food systems than would be offered by income groups alone, using variables that measure them more directly. The average ecological footprint of production increases from rural and traditional food systems to industrial and consolidated food systems.

The typology of food systems presented here provides a tool to reduce some of this complexity in the analysis of food systems. In the agricultural sector, they have been widely used to characterize households and agricultural patterns, while the relatively less developed field of research on the food environment has also used typologies to characterize neighborhoods or specific types of outlets where consumers buy food. The IPCC and EU reports concluded that it is feasible to adapt the food system to reduce the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and food security problems, while moving to a sustainable diet. For the current typology, it was decided a priori that five types of food systems were optimal and that a smaller number would not be able to capture the heterogeneity that exists within regions, for example, at the regional level in Africa, where the study team considered that more than one type of food system predominates at the country level.

Countries were ranked first from highest to lowest in each indicator, under the assumption that the highest values were associated with more “modern” food systems and the lowest values with more “traditional” food systems. .

Pattie Polich
Pattie Polich

Certified tv lover. Passionate internetaholic. Passionate organizer. Twitter lover. Hipster-friendly creator. Extreme beer lover.

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