That’s eating! And guess what? Everybody eats. That means everyone is part of the food system. In the words of Incredible Edible Todmorden, “If you eat, you’re in!”
Surprisingly, the consumption sector is not an obvious food system component for many. In our modern society it’s common to think of the food system as the purview only of those who produce, process or distribute the food; separate from the consumer. Not only does that put undue burden on these other sectors to carry responsibility for the whole system, it doesn’t work. A system only works if there is interconnected participation across all sectors.
Everybody eats… or do they? AERO’s commitment to a sustainable Montana means advocating for healthy food access for ALL Montanans. True food access is the ideal that all Montanans have consistent access to healthful, adequate, safe, and culturally appropriate foods. Access takes into account affordability, availability, and the food and culinary knowledge and skills to consume the food that is available.
True food access is food sovereignty, a human right claimed by community. We like this definition, excerpted from the Declaration of Nyéléni, 2007 Forum for Food Sovereignty in Sélingué, Mali.
“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.”
Our commitment to true food access, food sovereignty and food justice begins with listening, seeking a deeper understanding of the experiences of all Montanans, and inviting all Montanans to participate in, and reap the benefits of, a healthy food system.
Learn more about how the Flathead regional team of AERO’s Montana Food Economy Initiative (MFEI) launched Glacier Farmers and Eaters Advocating Sustainability Together (FEAST).