Differences between Organic Foods, Local Foods, Small-Scale Food Systems, and Sustainable Business Practices vs. Sustainable Environmental Practices
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The concept of food should be considered from different dimensions. In particular, it should not be associated with human health only, but with other important cultural, social, economic, and religious value that encapsulation the overall food policy toward the public health.
Food consumption, therefore, can touch upon ethical issues as far as specific food production is concern (Dawson 225). At this point, the concept of sustainable food, local food systems, and organic food come to the forth because they emphasize the notions that stand beyond direct notions of food consumption.
While analyzing the difference between organic food and local food, human health is not the identifying factor here, but different social and economic environments.
In particular, organic food production is more congruent with sustainable environmental practices because organic food should in imply using chemical substances and synthetic additives to make the plants and animals grow faster. In this respect, sustainable food and organic food are closely associated because both favor a sustainable and health development of environment (Jensen and Sandoe 246).
Though similar purposes are traced by sustainable business practices, they are still more focused on the production process, marketing segmentation, and revenues they would get from this business activity. Another distinctive feature of sustainable environment practices is the focus made on the development of scientific and technological strategies on improving the environment for producing healthy and natural food products, rather increasing the pace of production.
Unlike sustainable practices of introducing organic food is social and economical justified, introduction of local food has also economic benefits, but not guarantees access to sufficient, nutritious, safe food. Rather, the concept is based on enhancing local economy for food production.
Because the concept of food consumption closely relates to cultural habits and traditions, it should be congruent with the environment within which this food is produced. The idea of local food system, on the one hand, support the idea of protecting environment, but it fails to represents similar strategies in a global context, which is another difference of local food from sustainable food systems (Waltner-Toews 50).
Aside from ethical and social issues, food quality characteristics are also among the priorities which identify the above-described notions. In this respect, relying solely on science and technology is not enough to meet the modern standard of food consumption and its influence of public health. To be more exact, local food production is more premised on external factors, as well as human perception what requirements food should meet. Organic food is also more based on the principles introduced by environmental conditions rather than by scientific approaches (Ravetz 257). Finally, sustainable food also takes into consideration environmental factors because a healthy environment is the key to the human health as well.
Regarding the consumer’s awareness, business and environmental practices should be considered. Specifically, sustainable environmental practices are more based on the awareness of the consumers whereas sustainable business practices are more likely to impose views and beliefs on the ones who consume food.
This of particular concern to local and small-scale food systems as well because they are also premised on different perceptions and attitudes expressed by the target consumers. Thus, local food producers pursue to meet cultural and conventional needs of the consumers whereas organic food producers are more focused on environmental issues.
Dawson, Angus. “Food and The Public’s Health.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 20.3 (2007): 225-29.
Jensen, Karsten Klint, and Peter Sandoe. “Food Safety and Ethics: The Interplay between Science and Values.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15.3 (2002): 245-53.
Ravetz, Jerome R. “Food Safety, Quality, and Ethics – a Post-Normal Perspective.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 15.3 (2002): 255-65.
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Waltner-Toews, David. “One Ecosystem, One Food System: the Social and Ecological Context of Food Safety Strategies.” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 4 (1991): 49-59.