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Realizing Resilient Food Systems

Author: Schipanski, M.E., G.K. MacDonald, S. Rosenzweig, M.J. Chappell, E.M. Bennett, R. Bezner Kerr, J. Blesh, T. Crews, L. Drinkwater, J.G. Lundgren, C. Schnarr.

Publication: BioScience

Abstract

Food systems are under increasing pressure to produce sufficient food for the global population, decrease the environmental impacts of production, and buffer against complex global change. Food security also remains elusive for many populations worldwide. Greater emphasis on food system resilience could reduce these vulnerabilities. We outline integrated strategies that together could foster food system resilience across scales, including (a) integrating gender equity and social justice into food security research and initiatives, (b) increasing the use of ecological processes rather than external inputs for crop production, (c) fostering regionalized food distribution networks and waste reduction, and (d) linking human nutrition and agricultural production policies. Enhancing social–ecological links and fostering adaptive capacity are essential to cope with short-term volatility and longer-term global change pressures. Finally, we highlight regional case studies that have enhanced food system resilience for vulnerable populations. Efforts in these areas could have dramatic impacts on global food system resilience.

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