2021 was billed as a “super year” for food, with the UN Food Systems Summit, the biodiversity convention, COP26 in Glasgow and the Nutrition for Growth Summit shining a light on the deep structural transformations required to address multiple and overlapping crises. To address accelerating climate change, biodiversity loss, rising food insecurity and growing inequality we need to repair the relationship between people and nature.
Agroecology, regenerative approaches, and Indigenous foodways are a direct response and counterpoint to the dominant, industrial food system. The industrial food system, defined by chemicals, concentrated livestock, monoculture, and ultra-processed foods, comes with a cost we can no longer afford. Underpinning the inherently diverse and intercultural processes of agroecology, regenerative approaches, and Indigenous foodways are principles of renewability, resilience, and co-creation that have existed for thousands of years and need to be centered in efforts to transform food systems.
Agroecology, regenerative approaches, and Indigenous foodways are tried and tested pathways to food and agriculture systems, in use by millions of people worldwide, that sustain health and well-being, are economically viable, are culturally appropriate, protect nature, and respect the planet.
Yet, dominant narratives and recurrent questions limit and skew our collective conversation about the efficacy of these approaches and compromise their mainstream uptake. Claims about evidence—that it is clear or lacking, amount and types of evidence available, whether the data is statistically valid or not—are used to sow seeds of doubt and undermine transformative action. I hear questions about the evidence available everyday. It is in the context of a narrow view of “what counts” as evidence that the old model of the industrialized food system continues to trundle on.
Read the full article about regenerative food systems by Lauren Baker at Food Tank.
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