2 min read

What do you think of when you hear or see the word "system"?

The IT gurus and enthusiasts will definitely think of computers. The medical practitioners will think of how the human organs work together to form a system.

But what about The Food System? Do you ever think of that?

According to the United Nations, "a food system is defined as a system that embraces all the elements (environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructure, institutions, markets and trade) and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution and marketing, preparation and consumption of food and the outputs of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes."

  • We all come together to make up the food system. By "we", I mean the following sets of people:
  • Input industry gurus, providing fertilizers and viable seeds for crop production and animal husbandry.
  • Farmers, doing the farming, animal breeding and agribusiness proper.
  • Food industry experts (Food Scientists, Engineers, R&D, etc), involved in processing and preservation of food into marketable shelf-stable forms.
  • Distributors and marketers, ensuring that food products are delivered in good condition to the consumers.
  • Chefs, cooks and everyone, preparing palatable and nutritious cuisines for self and others.
  • Consumers, we all have to eat right?
  • Waste recovery experts, imagine how littered the environment would be if we didn't have these people in the system. 

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Our conversation on food systems will be incomplete if we don't talk about the aspect of sustainability. Now what makes a food system sustainable?

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "a sustainable food system is one that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generation is not compromised."

It will be in our best interest to embrace changes that will ensure that:

  • Nutritious and affordable food is available for everyone all year round. 
  • Food and water wastage is reduced.
  • The environment is clean and waste disposal is done in a better way.
  • Which role(s) do you play in the food system?
  • What other changes do you think we need to embrace in order to build a sustainable food system?

Click Here to Join the Over 1000 Students Taking our Highly Rated Courses on Quality Assurance/Quality Control, Food Safety, Lean Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 22000, ISO 45001, FSSC 22000, Product Development etc. on UDEMY.


About the Author

Chidinma Ezinne Ochulor is a certified Food Technologist, a quality assurance professional with over 3 years' experience. She is a professional member of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST). Reach her on LinkedIn, here

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