Food, that which nourishes us and sustains us, has been compromised. Yet, food is a complex topic, one that includes agriculture and large farming methods, food safety, food security, organics, pest management, soil health, water usage and more.
My podcast guest this week, Rachel Sayet, is a member of two food sovereignty groups. As I delved into this tipoic, I realized that food security is often intertwined with food sovereignty yet they have a different focus. What’s the difference between food sovereignty and food security? A lot.
“Food security does not distinguish where food comes from, or the conditions under which it is produced and distributed. National food security targets are often met by sourcing food produced under environmentally destructive and exploitative conditions, and supported by subsidies and policies that destroy local food producers but benefit agribusiness corporations.”
“Food sovereignty emphasizes ecologically appropriate production, distribution and consumption,
social-economic justice and local food systems as ways to tackle hunger and poverty and
guarantee sustainable food security for all peoples. It advocates trade and investment that serve
the collective aspirations of society. It promotes community control of productive resources;
agrarian reform and tenure security for small-scale producers; agro-ecology; biodiversity; local
knowledge; the rights of peasants, women, indigenous peoples and workers; social protection and climate justice.”
According to The Six Pillars of Food Sovereignty, developed at Nyéléni, 2007 (Food Secure Canada,
2012), food sovereignty is defined by these parameters:
1. Focuses on food for the people by: a) placing people’s need for food at the centre of policies;
and b) insisting that food is more than just a commodity.
2. Values food providers by: a) supporting sustainable livelihoods; and b) respecting the work of
all food providers.
3. Localizes food systems by: a) reducing the distance between suppliers and consumers; b)
rejecting dumping and inappropriate food aid; and c) resisting dependence on remote and
4. Places control at a local level by: a) placing control in the hands of local food suppliers; b)
recognizing the need to inhabit and share territories; and c) rejecting the privatization of natural
5. Promotes knowledge and skills by: a) building on traditional knowledge; b) using research to
support and pass on this knowledge to future generations; and c) rejecting technologies that
undermine local food systems.
6. Works with nature by: a) maximizing the contributions of ecosystems; b) improving resilience;
and c) rejecting energy intensive, monocultural, industrialized and destructive production methods.
The Food Sovereignty Alliance website provides detailed information about legislation, events, resources for thoughtful action.
I don’t know about you but I choose organic food grown with sustainable practices that ensure nutritious food, healthy soil, air, and water for future generations. We are slowly turning this planet into one big desert. It’s time for practical action and profound inner change! Please comment and share. Thanks.