Ayoub Al-Jawaldeh and Alexa Meyer

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1–6

1.1. The Food Systems Approach

Definitions and Concept

The first part of the book is dedicated to a presentation of the concept and characteristics of current food systems and the challenges arising from climate change, globalization and demographic trends leading to changes in dietary patterns. The concept of food systems is built on the idea that what people eat is not only determined by food production alone and that food consumption also has effects on production. The food system includes the entire food chain, starting with agricultural production, through transportation and retail, to consumption and waste disposal. It also considers the impact on and the interaction with other systems like the environment and socioeconomic aspects. Ideally, food systems enable easy access and availability of healthy, wholesome food to everyone while at the same time limiting negative effects on the environment and providing sufficient incomes to food growers and producers. Thus, approaches aiming at a healthier and more sustainable food system have to take the interactions between the different components of the system into account.