Design Principles for Real Food Security
The world is awash with experts, philanthropists and multinational companies talking enthusiastically about what needs to be done ‘to feed the world’ – with a weird mixture of technocratic bombast and scaremongering about needing to double levels of food production by 2030. Yet only the last couple of years has it been accepted that talking about food security in this way makes no sense at all unless one talks about the scandal of food waste – and the absolute priority of addressing that challenge first. It also makes no sense at all talking about food security in that way without going back to the basics of food production: soil, water, seeds, biodiversity, energy balances and so on.
The design principles that underpin the permaculture movement have a crucial role to play in reconnecting with those basics, reminding everyone involved in food chains around the world that you can’t get something for nothing as far as nature is concerned – or not for very long, anyway. And the central insight of permaculture – that our entire food economy is more and more ‘at risk’ if we continue to work against the dynamics of the natural world rather than work with those dynamics – should be the basis on which all projections for a ‘food secure future’ should be built.
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