Publications

Regenerating food systems : A social-ecological approach

Duncan, J.A.B.; Carolan, Michael; Wiskerke, J.S.C.

Summary

The future of food is uncertain. We are facing an overwhelming number of interconnected and complex challenges related to the ways we grow, distribute, access, eat, and dispose of food. Yet, there are stories of hope and opportunities for radical transition towards food systems that enhance the ability of living things to co-evolve. In this chapter we summarize the rationale for this Handbook on Sustainable and Regenerative Food Systems and reflect on the value and contribution of regenerative approaches to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We them propose six principles for regenerative food systems that build on the diverse contributions that make up this book: acknowledging and including diverse forms of knowing and being; taking care of people, animals and the planet; moving beyond capitalist approaches; commoning the food system; promoting accountable innovations; and long-term planning and rural–urban relations. We conclude by reflecting on the value of regenerative food systems as a concept and practice, proposing it has the potential to move us beyond the boundaries of sustainability. Regenerative approaches take into account not only farming systems, but also farm families, rural communities, landscapes, and regions and ecosystems. They are key to our collective food futures.