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Food Policy and Activism by Jet Hayden

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5 mins read

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  • #Food Systems

Understanding the interconnectedness of our food systems on a holistic level is the most important step in recognizing and attacking the shortcomings of the system. An important skill that I’ve taken away from the Sprint is the ability to better articulate this concept of holism in these complex networks. 

A fundamental issue of our modern-day food systems is that it isn’t entirely modern; it is largely built on antiquated structures that present obstacles in the path towards a more sustainable and fair global food system. For example, we may choose to look at agriculture in the UK as one node in the global food network. Although British technology that addresses ecological issues such as unchecked water and energy use on farms may be advancing, the effects of its implementation may be restricted via a different node, perhaps at the cultural or political level, which creates inertia, or resistance to change, in the system as a whole. In this way, it is not chain reaction of events that challenge our food systems, but a series of actions at various levels that accumulate, giving rise to certain outcomes. 

Here lies my call to action for individuals hoping to combat the failures of our current food systems. It may be tempting to defer to the top-down approaches such as technology or policy, over which we have little or no control. However, we must not disregard the effect of small, cumulative actions at the individual level that form the foundation of what we call “progress”. Minimizing food waste in the home, supporting ethical food industries, expanding knowledge of nutrition, and combatting disproportionate effects on minorities are just a few examples of micro-level actions entirely within our reach. It is my hope that with this big-picture thinking we may recognize that both these micro and macro level actions are part of parcel of an effective, long-term shift towards more sustainable food systems.” 

And here are some examples of how people can learn more!  

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