The Food System
The food system includes all those activities involving the production, processing, transport and consumption of food; the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, and how food production affects the natural environment; as well as how food affects health and well-being, including nutrition, obesity and food safety.
Adapted from futureoffood.ox.ac.uk
Simplified Illustrations of the Food System - the basics
The food system is visualized in a great diversity of ways. Scroll to the bottom for more complex examples.
Community Food System
“A sustainable community food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place. Farmers, consumers and communities partner to create a more locally based, self-reliant food economy. One of the most important aspects of sustainable community food system projects is that they increase resident participation…”
Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of California in Davis (asi.ucdavis.edu)
Food Systems Change
Food systems change involves re-localizing, re-skilling, and re-connecting ourselves to the environment through food.
Food as Regenerative
Eating local, seasonal and ecological food helps us to regenerate the health of our bodies, families, communities, ecosystems, and local economies.
Illustrations of the Food System with more complexity
Through the food system, multiple stakeholders and causes are linked, making it a prime area for collaboration and participation in sustainability transition, working simultaneously on environmental, social and economic goals.
This image is from the Washington State University's Whatcom Food Network.
Find this richly detailed version of a food systems map in high resolution on the nourish website.