Food Systems 101

Equal Exchange
August 21, 2008
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Agroecology. Food sovereignty. Food systems. This might not be everyday vocabulary, but these concepts relate to some very basic questions regarding our everyday food choices: Where does food come from? Who owns it? How is it produced? What affect does food production have on the earth?

Here's a quick run-down of what these terms mean:

AGROECOLOGY: the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design, development, and management of sustainable agricultural systems.

FOOD SOVEREIGNTY: the right of people to define their own food, agriculture, livestock and fisheries systems, in contrast to having food largely subject to international market forces.

FOOD SYSTEM: All of the steps required to produce food and get it to our plates - from farming and processing to distribution and consumption.

These topics are key components in our work to build a food system that delivers delicious and safe foods, in a way that benefits the farmers and doesn't harm the earth. We believe that together we can push the food system toward a more just and sustainable model - and that, for us, is what this Big Change thing is all about.