Access to a wide variety of foods is a necessity for health and well-being, but it is also the basis for cultural integrity. In many parts of the world, rich and diverse local food systems still exist. EcoNexus therefore addresses not only the food safety of GM crops but also food security and food sovereignty. Food security is often taken to imply a basic but impoverished supply of food, but genuine food security involves defending and regenerating local food systems. Diverse systems that are appropriate to their regions in which food production is under the control of the people or community who then actually eat it, is the basis for food sovereignty. In this context, sustainable farming not only ensures food security but also protects agricultural diversity.
Under threat from industrialized agriculture?
However, farming systems become more and more industrialized, concentrating on the production of agricultural commodities for mass processing. Local varieties of crop and animals are getting lost, along with vital knowledge and practice handed down over centuries. Without these, future food production is seriously jeopardised.
At the same time, grains are increasingly used as animal feed instead of for human consumption, and currently we can witness the use of agricultural land for the production of agrofuels and industrial prodcuts rather than food production. While access to food already is a problem, the industrialized food production systems lead to the waste and destruction of vast quantities of food everyday, especially in the US and Europe.
EcoNexus follows the developments of specific crop plants and animals (such as rice, soya or fish) but also looks at the bigger picture and recurring themes, like the question whether GM crops could feed the world.