Principles for Framing a Healthy Food System

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:

  1. Insure community food security for all residents. This principle incorporates elements of the other six.
  2. Be community based. Other community priorities can be interwoven with a community food system.
  3. Be locally integrated. There would be a dynamic blend of local, regional, national and global food sources.
  4. Be reasonably seasonal in nature. Sustainable technology can be employed to expand growing seasons.
  5. Present more opportunities than problems. For example, local sourcing creates local jobs.
  6. Connect “healthy” across the layers of the system. Health extends from people to families, communities, plants, animals and soil.
  7. Be diverse. Diversity encompasses scale of operation, range of foods, type of production strategy and background of farmers.