A healthy food system is one in which everyone has daily access to a diet that allows for a full life, that does not deplete natural resources and allows for a sustainable livelihood by those involved with all aspects of food production.
The author suggests seven principles that could be used in moving the United States toward a markedly improved food system. Those principles are that the food system would:
- Insure community food security for all residents. This principle incorporates elements of the other six.
- Be community based. Other community priorities can be interwoven with a community food system.
- Be locally integrated. There would be a dynamic blend of local, regional, national and global food sources.
- Be reasonably seasonal in nature. Sustainable technology can be employed to expand growing seasons.
- Present more opportunities than problems. For example, local sourcing creates local jobs.
- Connect “healthy” across the layers of the system. Health extends from people to families, communities, plants, animals and soil.
- Be diverse. Diversity encompasses scale of operation, range of foods, type of production strategy and background of farmers.