The emergence of a new paradigm in food production and consumption is a reality made possible by a silent but persistent rise of awareness among citizens who wish to change the prevalent patterns and play a decisive role in achieving a better world by inducing positive synergies in different areas. The realm of these changes is often far broader than most of us realise. The simple fact that we buy organic products may support the maintenance of traditional landscapes, balance in ecosystems, the genetic pool constituted by traditional varieties and breeds, respect for human and animal rights and so on. The preference for local production will improve local economies and reduce ‘food miles’ and our ecological footprint. It will also contribute to create employment and bring a new dynamic to some regional industries and services. The purchase of products certified as ‘Fair Trade’ helps poor farmers in developing countries and last, but not the least, the consumption of a vegetarian meal, even if only a few times each week, contributes to considerably reduce the area used to produce fodder to feed animals, making it available for other crops. It was argued here that a change in food production and consumption patterns is necessary in order to promote better health among the youngest, guarantee a strategic food reserve and contribute to the sustainable development of rural areas.
|Title of host publication||The Sustainability of Rural Systems: global and local challenges and opportunities|
|Editors||Mary Cawley, Ana Maria Bicalho, Lucette Laurens|
|Place of Publication||NUI Galway|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|