A sustainable food system is one that provides food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases for generating food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised. This type of system is designed to provide healthy food to meet current needs while also maintaining healthy ecosystems that can provide food for future generations with minimal negative impact on the environment.
Sustainable food systems(SFS) are essential for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals, and involve the development of sustainable agricultural practices, more sustainable food distribution systems, sustainable diets, and the reduction of food waste throughout the system. The environmental objective of a sustainable food system is to achieve a neutral or positive effect on the natural environment.
This includes growing, raising, harvesting, processing, distributing, ensuring food safety, eating and even discarding food. A sustainable food system also promotes local production and distribution infrastructures and makes nutritious food available, accessible and affordable for all. Together, individual actions, in addition to large-scale changes at the local, state, federal and global levels, can create a sustainable food system. Food systems determine what foods are available for people to eat, how easy they are to obtain, and how much they cost. This is important from a sustainability perspective, as traditional pet food production relies heavily on animal-based ingredients, which contribute to deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and overfishing.
It provides and promotes safe, nutritious and healthy food with low environmental impact for all current and future EU citizens, in a way that also protects and restores the natural environment and its ecosystem services, is robust and resilient, economically dynamic, just and equitable, and socially acceptable and inclusive. The study of sustainable nutrition applies systems theory and sustainable design methods to food systems. The globalization of sustainable food systems has coincided with the proliferation of private standards in the agri-food sector, where large food retailers have launched initiatives involving multiple stakeholders (MSI), managed by regulatory organizations (SSO) that maintain standards. While individual efforts such as recycling and reducing food waste are important, fundamental changes are also needed in the way food is produced, distributed and eaten as well as changes in policies and infrastructure to achieve lasting change. The social aspect of a sustainable food system involves equity for all participants including vulnerable and underrepresented groups. This includes ensuring access to healthy foods regardless of income level or location.
It also involves creating an equitable distribution of resources throughout the entire system. In conclusion, a sustainable food system is essential for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals. It involves developing sustainable agricultural practices, more sustainable food distribution systems, sustainable diets, and reducing food waste throughout the system. It also promotes local production and distribution infrastructures while making nutritious foods available to everyone. Finally, it ensures equity for all participants including vulnerable and underrepresented groups.