The Food System of Tomorrow: A Call to Action

 

by Laura Driscoll, Ph.D., Sentient Media

April 1, 2021

 

We stand at a crossroads. Industrial agriculture has led the global food system in the wrong direction. If we want to build a healthier, greener, kinder, more sustainable future that gets us closer to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we must follow a new path.

 

Food system changes will need to find a balance between several different priorities, all of which are equally important in securing a sustainable future. The food system of the future must deliver healthy food for all people, healing and protection for the environment, respect and protection for animals, safe and equitable employment for food system workers, and vibrant economies. Most importantly, it must do all this without intensifying the crisis of global climate change. This is no small task!

 

Changes Needed at Global Level

 

Producing food anywhere requires sufficient water, air, and nutrients for animals and plants to thrive. Industrial agriculture taught us that we didn’t have to rely on nature’s limits. Instead, we could provide nutrients and pest control through chemicals, rather than by working in harmony with natural ecosystems. We’ve now been farming this way for seventy years, maximizing quantity over quality, and hiding the true costs for our health and the planet.

 

Controlling and replacing natural processes has resulted in a get-out-of-jail-free card for ethically and ecologically disastrous decisions, like cultivating desert-loving tomatoes in humid Florida, and raising as many as 24,000 pigs on a single Iowa hog farm. As long as production is profitable, negative impacts on animals, humans, or the environment have generally been overlooked.

 

Worldwide, building a food system that can achieve the UN SDGs will require shifting away from conventional industrial agriculture as we know it today—farming that emphasizes efficiency and profit above all else, while relying on synthetic external inputs such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, soil conditioners, and fumigants to control how crops grow.

 

Reverse Corporate Concentration and Consolidation ...

 

ReducE Industrial Animal Production and Consumption ...

 

Grow Environmental Awareness and Climate Solutions ...

 

Make Food Available to All ...

 

Shift Investment from Problems to Solutions ...

 

Changes Needed within the US Food System ...

 

Reduce Animal Production and Consumption ...

 

Dismantle Systemic Racism and Inequality in the US Food System ...

 

Redirect US Public Agricultural Subsidies ...

 

References ...

 

more, including links

https://sentientmedia.org/the-food-system-of-tomorrow-a-call-to-action/