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


  1. Metabolic Rift: Marx’s writings on metabolism were developed during England’s “second” agricultural revolution (1815–1880), a period characterised by the growing use of chemical fertilisers.  Since then, food production efficiencies and growing urbanisation pressures have given rise to other ‘rifts’ …More» [Metabolic Rift – Wikipedia].
  2. Retail Rift: Consumers are unable to influence how their food is produced … returning faulty food is rarely done, and likely not even an option.
  3. Nutritional Rift: the (25-50%) loss of nutritional value of food resulting from modern food production methods. More» [Mother Earth News]
  4. Biological Rift: The degree to which ordinary people engage with nature, beyond simply viewing or visiting it, must be at its lowest point in human history. More» [Social Ecology – Wikipedia]

tractor spraying potato crop

4. Local-scale Food Self-reliance


  • A community able to demonstrate real 100% sustainable living solution has yet to arise.
  • We have lost the skills to feed ourselves, and to build community.

Social-scale sustainability is only possible if the food-land-people assemblage acquires a particular symmetry, where the density of habitancy coincides with a sufficiency of local food production.
Social-scale food production is the most effective long-term means to change the food system over to a sustainable framework. Starting on a small scale the collateral benefits of social food production are sufficient for a grassroots approach to expand from local to regional in extend.

Food-Land-People Assemblages

Land as a resource affords us two basic necessities – nourishment and habitat. The spectrum of Food-Land-People assemblages in the Western world has become lopsided by economic influences.

Land use in cities is now heavily skewed towards habitat and away from nourishment, eliminating scope for local self-reliance and sustainability.
This rupture between people, food and nature has detrimental consequences 1. Encouraging food, land and people assemblages into cooperative alliance is the appropriate remedy.

Food Sovereignty, (2014) -- [3 mins.]
Prof. van der Ploeg, (Wageningen Uni, Netherlands).

Building Street Community

Shani Graham helped lead a sustainable-living revolution that ultimately resulted in strong neighbourly relationships, the fences pulled down and the establishment of a street festival.

Related, Why 'urban villages' are on the rise around the world

Take a street and build a community -- (2014) [20mins.]

Watch full screen - Post Link

The Ark of Sustainability

Agrarian Rural-Urban Synthesis (AgRUS) - envisions groups of 'settlers' in rural areas living within and around local towns — working together with an intention of pioneering 100% sustainable living ...

  • developing a community of intention, extended where possible,
  • researching land selection criteria, settlement requirements, community programmes, etc.
  • preparing a foundation of skill and understanding for a future of regenerative farming;
  • building information networks, formal associations and joint projects;
  • adapting and improving institutional structures, economic tools and provisioning methods on the principles of sustainability [course].

Self Reliance is a myth