Agric Human Values 2021 Jan 3:1-12. Epub 2021 Jan 3.
Department of International Political Economy, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner Street, Tacoma, WA 98416 USA.
Current, prevalent models of the food system, including complex-adaptive systems theories and commodity-as-relation thinking, have usefully analyzed the food system in terms of its elements and relationships, confronting persistent questions about a system's identity and leverage points for change. Here, inspired by Heldke's (Monist 101:247-260, 2018) analysis, we argue for another approach to the "system-ness" of food that carries those key questions forward. Drawing on Niklas Luhmann's systems theory, we propose a model of the food system defined by the relational process of feeding itself; that is, the food system is made of feeding and only feeding, and system structures are produced by the coupling of that process to its various contexts. Read More