GEOGRAPHIES OF SUSTAINABLE FOOD?

Even though there is more than enough food grown to feed the human population, it is increasingly apparent that one of our greatest challenges is the sustainability of our global food system. Thus questions are being raised about our long-run capacity to adequately feed a rising world population. Furthermore, in both developed and developing nations a growing proportion of people are overfed and suffering from obesity-related diseases, while at the same time a significant part of humanity is underfed and malnourished. Finally, there are increasing concerns about both the safety of our food system and its environmental sustainability. Yet despite these challenges there is evidence that positive alternatives and choices may exist. Thus in this paper we ask you to examine the debate around food sustainability by addressing four principal questions: (i) What are the main challenges currently confronting our global food system? (ii) What does it mean for a food system to be sustainable and how might this be measured? (iii) What are possible strategies for developing sustainability? (iv) How is geography, especially scale, relevant to food sustainability? (i.e. do the debates around this issue stress challenges and possible solutions at some scales more than others and why?)

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