Discuss how the issues associated with broken food systems might be understood as a wicked problem.
The notions of social wicked problems were first introduced in 1973 by Rittel and Webber; two Berkeley professors who published an article in Policy Sciences, that identified the characteristics that differentiated wicked problems from ordinary problems (Camillus 2008). Rittel and Webber’s article provided 10 properties that can be used as a guide to recognising whether an issue is considered ‘wicked’. With the constant increasing global population, issues surrounding food production and distributed have come to light, raising the questions; is the …show more content…
Food demand is becoming a major issue among nations, and is only set to continue in the coming years, with an estimated 50% increase by 2030 (Toroczkai, et al 2012). Over consumption in the developed world has become a real issue for poorer nations who are struggling to provide basic food provisions for their people, Richard Black identifies that major governments need to start acting sooner rather than later.
"We have to go beyond GDP; and either we can do it voluntarily or we 'll have to do it because pressure on a finite planet will in the end make us" (Black, 2012).
Adding to this, is the fact that up to 50% of food is lost in transportation, highlighting the huge amount of food wastage occurring, which if cut down would help to ease up the demand and supply chain (Law, 2011).
Climate change and natural disasters are another factor contributing to the food system crisis. As the world increases its trading and relies more on this system, elements affecting one major provider are felt globally. A catastrophic drought in Russia caused global wheat prices to rise 70% higher in 2011 compared to the previous year; causing major issues for the world’s poorest people, who spend 80% of their income on food (Ford, 2011). Climate change caused by humans and natural disasters add more elements to the food system predicament, further …show more content…
The report highlights how the disaster could have been prevented through early warning systems, and a quicker response time. Archie Law brings to light two major issues contributing to the famine; one being the removal of major funding in the agricultural field; governments ignoring this need for more agriculture are simply setting up for future disaster. The second major issue is the use of land; Saudi Arabians emptied their aquifers growing wheat and can longer feed themselves. They are now purchasing land in developing countries to grow their own food supply (Law, 2011). This power play of rich nations adds the issue of politics into the food system, with those with the most money always coming out on top (Maxwell, 2012). Aid is not enough to fix this issue; more must be done to help the people to help themselves (Zakaria,