DOI: 10.1098/rsos.230702 ISSN:

A sustainable food future

Peter Horton
  • Multidisciplinary

The adverse environmental impacts of food production, the ill-health resulting from excess consumption and malnutrition, and the lack of resilience to the increasing number of threats to food availability show that the global system of food provision is not fit for purpose. Here, the causative flaws in the food system are identified and a framework presented for discovering the best ways to eliminate them. This framework is based upon an integrated view of the food system and the socio-economic systems in which it functions. The framework comprises an eight-point plan to describe the structure and functioning of the food system and to discover the optimum ways to bring about the changes needed to deliver a sustainable food future. The plan includes: priorities for research needed to provide options for change; an inclusive analytical methodology that uses the results of this research and incorporates acquisition, sharing and analysis of data; the need for actions at the local and national levels; and the requirements to overcome the barriers to change through education and international cooperation. The prospects for implementation of the plan and the required changes in the outcomes of the food system are discussed.

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