Changing the Food System

Trail #2 - How the Food System Must be Changed

Developing the logic for integrating the health imperatives of food, land and people into a practical framework – one aligned to a deeper understanding of the biological systems that are needed for maintaining a resilient and bio-diverse environment - one which is transferable forward into the future indefinitely.

Previous Trail - #1

Topics from 'Why the Food System Must be Changed'.

3. Re-framing for Abundance


  • Consumer-style seeking for happiness leads to over-exploitation of our natural systems and social tools.
  • Centralisation of power and wealth leads to entrapment through poverty, authority and menace.

Market-based economies organise around scarcity, uniformity and competition. Natural economies utilise abundance, diversity and dispersal to ensure resilience. We have developed the concept of the Sustainable Abundance Framework, using six categories. Under each categories comes a range of abundance-feedback processes – themselves comprised of other processes that unfold as feedback networks.

Building an abundance-based society requires developing these processes into integrated layers across the project. Our framework is intended as a conceptual tool, not as an hierarchical representation.

Abundance Feedback (A-F)

What are the things I can do, which no matter how much I continue doing them, and however many others do the same, the benefits only increase for everyone, indefinitely ?”

The Abundance Manifesto proposes that everything necessary for peaceful prosperity; social justice; food security; personal health and happiness is embodied in this enquiry. To become scalable requires groups/ organisations developing agreements framed around the same enquiry.

Prof. van der Ploeg - Wageningen University, Netherlands

His personal website

Solving the Puzzle of Sustainable Living

As a conceptual aid to understanding how this approach differs from the current framework of ordinary life, we use the analogy of a Rubik’s cube. It is a puzzle that is only solved when the component aspects (six colours) match up on all six faces: an unending frustration for anyone without proper guidance, c.f. the ordinary consumer-voter in today's world.
Instead, the Sustainable Abundance Framework directs decisions towards abundance-creating processes -- towards solving un-sustainability.

Even though once solved the possibility of disarray still remains imminent if untrained beginners are allowed to tinker.
Thus prosperous and peaceful societies will always be vulnerable to the sociopathic, the shallow and the shrewd.

Name some Abundance-feedback processes.  Growing food organically was a bit obvious ~ any others?

Socio-ecological, not Econo-technological

No matter who or what we choose to blame the global situation upon, it is we ourselves who are its final cause. Reversing the problem will entail building: 1/. mutual trust; 2/. localised autonomy; and 3/. ecological responsibility, i.e. living within a framework of sustainable abundance.

It will take groups bound by a spirit of mutual honesty and personal integrity to build that future. The default alternative is the eventual enclosure of society by surveillance-security technologies under some form of centralised authority.

Bruce Schneier explains ... Liars and Outliers (2012).

Summarising 'Liars & Outliers: Enabling the Trust... ' (4 mins.)

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Two Big Questions

Q: Does this imply a singular solution ? Yes, more or less. Compare it with how the law of gravity dictates building design, but still a great variation of form is possible. Similarly sustainable living must follow a framework of principles. (Detailed in an [upcoming] course}.

Q: Has the puzzle ever been solved before ? Yes, many times. Unfortunately prosperous and peaceful societies succumb to marauding conquerors, foreign disease and egotistical leaders.
The pre-European Americas for example. See....The Secret Of Eldorado ...

The Secret Of Eldorado (2002) -- [15 mins.]

Watch full screen - Post Link

The Sustainable Abundance Categories

Refer to the A-F Proposition (above)

Practical living Motivating influences
1. food, health & care 4. sustainability analysis
2. resources & environment 5. personal growth
3. social & economic tools 6. spiritual purpose

A Just Transition (2014 ) -- [7 mins.]

Start by making your own list of A-F activities. Then challenge others to think about it too.

HINT – We’ve only found a few handfuls of them so far.