What are the 4 limitations of the food system?

GLOBAL SCHOLAR 10-day survey on global problems %26% social change AMP ACTION LAB 5 days of intensive skill use The inability to access sufficient quantities of food is a problem affecting populations around the world. Around the world, about 795 million people suffer from chronic malnutrition and about 15% of households in the U.S. UU. More than 29 million Americans live in “food deserts,” meaning they don't have a supermarket within a mile of their home if they live in an urban area, or 10 miles from home if they live in a rural area.

In addition to the absence of these markets, limited mobility, economic barriers and a lack of fresh food options prevent certain low-income communities from obtaining healthy and affordable food. This problem has only been exacerbated by agricultural policy incentives that drive excessive production of sweets, fats and meats, and producers choose to reduce costs by extensively processing food and using high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated soybean oil to increase the lifespan and convenience of the product. In developing countries, about 16% of the rural population lacks convenient access to the market and, at most, only 40% of any crop is marketed and only a third of farmers sell on the market. International efforts must be made to develop local and regional markets, improve infrastructure to facilitate transportation, and increase agricultural investment in small farmers.

According to FAO, agricultural production is a major driver of climate change, producing a fifth of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Intensive agriculture methods use fertilizers and pesticides that contaminate streams and rivers, which can create “dead zones” downstream, and deforestation for agricultural use accounts for 10 to 11% of global GHG emissions. To protect our environment, our health and our food, we must implement climate-sensitive production methods, such as reducing tillage, crop rotation, enriching soil, encouraging natural pest predators and incorporating agroforestry. In addition, there is a global need to support more small-scale, less mechanically intensive and more organic practices to preserve our productive farmland and prevent climate change.

Ranganathan, “The Global Food Challenge” explained in 18 Ranganathan graphics, “The Global Food Challenge” explained in 18 graphics. More efforts should be focused on optimization approaches with the aim of developing relevant models that comprehensively integrate the co-production links between foods and also more specific data on environmental impacts, prices and the nutritional composition of foods, taking into account the types of food production methods, particularly for foods of animal origin. This was achieved without drastically changing dietary options, with the exception of a significant increase in fruit and vegetable intake and the almost total elimination of meat and alcoholic beverages from ruminants, while dairy intake remained stable. Food safety, traceability, personal nutrition, security, fraud and policies) that must be developed with the contributions of interested parties together with the technical advances considered here.

They also show that it is not necessary to eliminate entire categories of food to have a more sustainable diet. In a French study based on the second national study on individual food consumption, the authors classified people's diets into 4 groups with different levels of nutritional quality. Overall, the results of the studies confirm that it is possible to reduce the environmental impact of diets and, at the same time, improve their nutritional quality through informed food choices. Reducing meat consumption seems to be an important strategy for reducing GHGs in the diet; however, several studies indicated that the reduction potential depends on the quantity and type of meat (the amount of ruminant meat is a key parameter) and that the choice of foods to replace meat with is crucial.

since some isocaloric substitutions could, in fact, increase environmental impacts. The approaches, which are described in the following sections, are outlined in Figures 2 to 5 with a summary of their advantages and limitations. Diet optimization aims to find the optimal combination of foods for a population, a subpopulation, or an individual that meets a number of restrictions (for example, in terms of food, nutrients, costs, GHG and other environmental impacts), while optimizing (minimizing or maximizing) a function objective (p). , cost, calories, greenhouse gases, deviation from an existing diet).

The ability to calculate large amounts of data will change the way the food system is analyzed and understood and will allow the transition to sustainable food systems. Beyond the analysis of correlation, the epidemiological approach allows us to explore how food groups (or any other determinant) contribute to variability in a dimension of sustainability. The results indicated that the adoption of the reference diet, that is, without changes in food production practices and the reduction of food waste, would induce environmental impacts that would exceed the limits of most indicators (only GHGs would remain within limits and biodiversity in the more ambitious scenario). Reducing this impact will be critical to the transition from unsustainable fossil foods to a sustainable food system prepared for the future.

The results showed that these substitutions generated significant benefits (especially when beef was replaced by plant-based protein foods rather than poultry) in terms of carbon footprint, cost and nutritional balance (measured with the “Healthy Eating Index”). Many current food systems are unsustainable because they cause significant resource depletion and unacceptable environmental impacts. . .

Ismael Slagter
Ismael Slagter

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