Are we eating ourselves out of a healthy planet?

Self-sufficiency in Britain was abandoned in the early 1980s. Now 90% of fresh fruit is imported - Photo source flickr duncande150

Experts estimate that close to half of the human impact on the environment is directly or indirectly related to food production and consumption.

This I pulled from the back cover of a book called “System Innovation for Sustainability 3“, case studies in sustainable consumption and production – food and agriculture. At first glance the book looks like a text book, something that will help me get to sleep quickly. The cover and title seem boring. But once inside I found many interesting and worthwhile reasons to recommend this to others.

System Innovation for Sustainability 3

Sustainability issues are now clearly on the agenda for food producers and market actors, politicians and regulators, as well as being increasingly important in the decisions consumers make about food. A large number and variety of efforts to stimulate sustainability have been instigated and numerous studies, research programmes and publications have addressed such issues. Agri-food issues have also been prominent in the evolving definition of what sustainability means.

This book focuses largely on providing answers to the question of how food production and consumption systems can stay within the limits of the carrying capacity of our natural environment. But it also considers the challenges of food security and nutrition in the context of sustainability and a growing world population.

Case studies by chapter number

3. Facilitating a more sustainable food and farming sector in the UK
Paul Dewick and Chris Foster, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, UK, and Steve Webster, Delta-innovation Ltd, UK

4. Self-sufficiency or localisation? Sustainability and ambiguity in Britain’s food policy
Tim Cooper, Nottingham Trent University, UK

5. Transition towards sustainable consumption and production? The case of organic food in Denmark
Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, DTU Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark

In Sweden John Higson started the farmers market concept in 2000 following the examples found in the UK and USA - Photo source flickr nataliemaynor

6. Socioeconomic aspects of farmers’ markets in Sweden
Helen Nilsson and Oksana Mont, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, Lund University, Sweden

7. Open Garden: a local organic producer–consumer network in Hungary, going through various levels of system innovation
Edina Vadovics, Central European University, Department of Environmental Sciences and Policy, Hungary, and Matthew Hayes, Institute for Environmental Management, Szent István University and Nyitott Kert Alapitvány (Open Garden Foundation), Hungary

A movement that started in Italy in the 1980s. Slow Food: counteracting fast food and fast living - Photo source flickr slowlysheturned

8. Slow food: counteracting fast food and fast living
Ingrid Kjørstad, National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Norway

9. Sambazon: creating environmental and social value through marketing the açai berry; sustainable agro-forestry practices in the Brazilian Amazon
Burcu Tunçer and Patrick Schroeder, UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), Germany

10. Fairtrade Max Havelaar Norway: the Norwegian labelling organisation for fair trade
Ingri Osmundsvåg, National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Norway

11. Verified sustainable agriculture: a practical experience and a significant contribution to sustainable consumption and production
Chris Wille and Joke Aerts, Rainforest Alliance, and Bernward Geier, Colabora

12. Life events as turning points for sustainable nutrition
Martina Schäfer and Adina Herde, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany, and Cordula Kropp, University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Go to to buy this book at a 20% discount.

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