States have to consider agriculture as one of their key strategic topics, as the increase in food prices, climate change and income losses continue to climb. The world’s current agenda falls short in fighting these negative occurances; therefore, more concrete steps need to be taken.
In recent years, governments have approached agricultural activities as ways to build a healthy society.
Production in agriculture and sustainability are basic principles, but they alone are not enough as the environment issue is another significant principle to focus on.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), sustainable nutrition should be safe, healthy and nutritious, and have a low environmental impact.
Nutrition is also considered an element that contributes to the survival of generations.
In this context, feeding people with healthy food should be planned in a way that minimizes the agricultural impact on the environment.
Especially in the last 10 years, many studies conducted by both nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and states have focused on environmentally sensitive sustainable agriculture and fair-sharing food systems.
According to the data, 2 billion people are obese while 821 million people suffer from hunger. However, these jarring numbers are still not enough to mobilize the world.
The problem of the food supply is the world’s common problem, but you, as an individual, cannot have any impact on the sharing of food.
It is an ethical problem, and strategies should be developed accordingly.
When it comes to agriculture and food in today's societies, the first concept that comes to mind is finding the "good seed." The good seed discussed is suitable for the war on climate change and is cost-effective. It can offer a nutritional model for the future, can produce value-added products and, what’s even better, it can be plant-friendly.
In this context, individual and social responsibility plays a big role in the good seed’s journey from plant to table.
It is true that individual efforts fall short in the fair sharing of food, but that does not mean that we cannot have any contribution in raising nutritional awareness with our preferences and decisions.
For a new and healthier society, we all need to act responsibly. Planting good seeds may be an observably great idea for our future.
In Turkey, the national seed bank also needs to be strengthened. In order to produce agricultural products and form a suitable nutritional model, the national seed issue must be prioritized. Necessary support should be provided and agricultural products should be accordingly specialized. Because, as Savaş Akcan, the president of the Seeders Union of Turkey (TÜRKTOB), said, the “bullets of food wars are seeds.”
Efficient production requires efficient planning. Decision-makers need to support the food industry and practices for good seeds. Relevant technologies also need to be supported for functional production activity. In particular, a cooperation model for local and small businesses can enhance productivity.
In order to ensure the availability of healthy foods in all kinds of environments, including homes and schools, many arrangements are required. Accessing healthy food such as milk, eggs and cheese in schools should be easier than it is now. Planning daily nutrition with functional food is vital, and in nutrition programs, rich protein sources should top the list. By focusing on relevant legal regulations, governments can make a good start.
Since we cannot solve fair food sharing and healthy eating with numbers, we should make some "ethical decisions" in our shopping routines. For example, not buying junk food is the best choice. It is our responsibility to support the agricultural sector by making choices in food. From affordable prices to brands, there are many factors in determining shopping behavior, and we can make these based on ethics.
In this sense, instead of the concept of "from field to table," we can introduce the concept of "from seed to table" into our lives and create a happy future with the ethical decisions we make individually and socially.
With smart choices, we can protect our future and influence all processes of agriculture and food from seed to table. Agriculture is a sector that guarantees public health, and we have to protect it.
*Istanbul-based writer, an expert on bread making
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