Buzzwords and silver bullets

Friday, 12. September 2014


Danielle Tendall

Science has long contributed ground-breaking perspectives for food security: sustainability, integrated production, sustainable intensification, whole-systems design, agro-ecology, stakeholder involvement, smallholder empowerment, gender equity, and the latest one: resilience. If you haven’t heard these buzzwords, you’re not “in” on food systems and food security nowadays. They are all concepts which have cropped up over the years, have been the catchphrase of every speech, the silver bullet that was going to haul over our food system and solve its problems. I’m not going to criticize these very valid concepts. But seeing that those food system problems are still around, if anything getting worse, I am left with an uncomfortable feeling of doubt. Why haven’t all these brilliant concepts worked?

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