Food Systems 101

Equal Exchange
August 21, 2008

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.