Food is the most important source of happiness and health for every individual as well as for the planet earth. Human food requirements are a major factor in planetary health through agriculture, food preparation, preservation, distribution, and even food waste management. Individual, societal, and planetary health are intertwined into a braid that is the result of elements of the food ecosystem in human society. Each element of the human food system is deeply studied in disciplines like production (agriculture), distribution and aggregation, processing, marketing, access, preparation and consumption, gastronomy and health effects, waste recovery, and impact on the environment. All these disciplines are commonly studied in silos using their own language and terminology. We need to adopt a systems approach to study human food systems by considering each component and their role and effects quantitatively. The most important factor in the food system is the human food consumption and plays the most effective role in individual, societal, and planetary health. Interestingly, individual food consumption is strongly affected by (mis)information, culture, economy, and regulations in every society.
A Panel on:Ashoka Lecture Series on Interdisciplinary Research
23 Sep 2021