Few of us stop to think about food security (access to enough safe, nutritious food to live a healthy life) as the driving force behind a thriving economy. Yet leaders throughout history have recognized that food shortages spell disaster for any nation. In today’s rapidly expanding global population, food security is key to prosperity. This is why nations invest in agricultural research and development programs. Unfortunately, massive programs to build food security often fail simply because they are built on principles that create dependence and lack diversity. As a result, we create vulnerable food ecosystems that lack resilience to change.
As climate change, environmental decline, development, chronic disease, and population growth strain global food production efforts, it becomes increasingly clear that the technologies we need to meet growing food demands are already available.
- We know how to build soils.
- We know how to grow nutritious foods.
- We know how to eat right, and keep our gut microbes healthy.
Market pressures and government policies drive us to make choices that erode our ecosystems, pave up our farmland, cut down our forests, increase disparity and threaten our capacity to feed the future. This is only possible because we choose to let mass markets and politics influence our choices. We fall for empty promises about programs that will “help the poor,” or “improve nutrition in the schools.” And we grab food labeled “healthy” without looking to see how or where it was grown. Some of us don’t even read the ingredients on the label. When we change our mindset, think about where our food comes from, and stop choosing convenience over sustenance, healthy food will become readily available.