Reconciling food security and sustainability organically

Feeding the world is not just about how many people there are to be fed and how much we produce. On the one side is how much and what we consume – diet matters, not only for sustainability but also for health.

On the other side are the resources we consume to produce what we do – it’s no good producing more if we use up our non-renewable resources faster and damage the environment and the ecosystems services that sustain us in the long term. What matters here is not individual crop yields, but overall system productivity – how many people’s food, fibre and fuel needs can we sustain per hectare – and if livestock are competing for resources, what role should they really be playing?

Even if we can get the input-output balance right, which is where organic/agro-ecological practices have a significant role to play, what about the economic, political, legal and other institutional frameworks within which we operate and their impact on enabling, or impeding, genuine food sovereignty and sustainable food systems?


Theme: other
Published: 22nd January 2014