Regenerative food systems

Food is a key element to any society of course, and especially important is regenerative practices in food systems.

Its long been known that eco-systems that are integrated within food production systems have synergistic and symbiotic relationships benefical to both systems.

But we are still seeing farming practices that do neither, farm incomes that are falling and at the same time rising obesity and other dietary-related diseases.

So, where are the bottlenecks, the barriers to positive change?

How can we educate farmers to enjoy more organic practices, and educate our paletes to enjoy healtheir flavours?

The transition to agroecological farming and food systems is a fascinating topic.
Steve Gleissman has written extensivley on agroecology -

But there are issues where some scientific assessments contain an unrecognised bias which persuades many in the wider commmunity to withold support for regenerative food systems -
Towards better representation of organic agriculture in life cycle assessment
The environmental effects of agriculture and food are much discussed, with competing claims concerning the impacts of con- ventional and organic farming. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the method most widely used to assess environmental impacts of agricultural products. Current LCA methodology and studies tend to favour high-input intensive agricultural systems and misrepresent less intensive agroecological systems such as organic agriculture. LCA assesses agroecological systems inad- equately for three reasons: (1) a lack of operational indicators for three key environmental issues; (2) a narrow perspective on functions of agricultural systems; and (3) inconsistent modelling of indirect effects.

So, I am working to show where farmers, the primary food producers are able to show that ecological approaches that are well-designed, well implemented and that have had time to bed in, are effective -

Agricultural research is vital to continuing positive development within the UK agricultural community and across UK food systems.

The research can take many forms. The participatory approach is one which farmers and researchers are finding increasingly successful. It is both collaborative and rewarding as research priorities are shared and the results can be dramatic and transformative for all participants. LiveWheat is one such participatory research project run by and for researchers and farmers in the UK.

And I am supporting a UK Grain Lab where millers and bakers and cooks can work with farmers and seed breeders to gain knoweldge of what each are working with, the challenegs they face individually and the opprotunites they can grasp together -

I welcome comments and further detail and discussion.

  • Steven