A Whole Systems Approach to Food Insecurity Alleviation

Sustainable food systems are designed in such a way that they deliver food security and adequate nutrition for all while protecting the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals call for major transformations in agriculture and food systems internationally in order to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition by 2030. To realize the SDGs, the global food system needs to be reshaped to be more productive, more inclusive of poor and marginalized populations, environmentally sustainable and resilient, and able to deliver healthy and nutritious diets to all. These are complex and systemic challenges that require the combination of interconnected actions at the local, national, regional and global levels.

In the UK, as in many modern economies, there is a dynamic tension between the two very current and pressing parallel issues of household food insecurity and wasted food. In many ways the current system often attempts to mutually solve, or at least alleviate, one with the other and this is neither sustainable nor desirable. Somerset County Council in the UK are taking a progressive approach in the intersection between food production, food poverty alleviation, adequate nutrition and environmental concerns. This presentation stimulates thinking on the relationships between these issues, the importance of the language we use to describe them and the very real need to work towards decoupling them from each other to prevent embedding them in a cycle of mutual assurance. Our Speaker, Milly Carmichael, considers the role of food overproduction and ask whether it matters more to the food economy that food is sold rather than eaten.

Find out more about the GODAN Working Group on Food Poverty and the Webinar series on UK Food Insecurity here: https://www.godan.info/working-group-food-poverty


About the Speaker

Milly Carmichael works as a Health Improvement Officer for Public Health in Bath and North East Somerset addressing issues of household food insecurity. She has a background in nursing, health advising, training facilitation and horticulture and has studied and practiced permaculture for almost ten years. She currently chairs her local Transition Town initiative and is passionate about using her various roles to advocate for a just and sustainable food system.

Moderator - Kathryn Bailey, Head of Communications and Partnerships, GODAN.