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The Challenge of Food Systems Research: What Difference Does It Make?

Wageningen Economic Research, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 29703, 2502 LS The Hague, The Netherlands
Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University & Research, P.O. Box 35, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 171;
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 23 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
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Recent discussions on the results of food security programs devote key attention to complex interactions between policy interventions and business innovation for improving nutrition outcomes. This shift from linear approaches of food and nutrition security towards a more interlinked and nested analysis of food systems dynamics has profound implications for the design and organization of research and innovation processes. In this article we outline our experience with interdisciplinary and interactive processes of food systems analysis at different scale levels, paying systematic attention to three critical system interfaces: intersections with other systems, interactions within the food system, and incentives for food system innovations (the so-called: 3I approach). We discuss the importance of these interfaces for leveraging food system adaptation and managing food system transformation. We also provide illustrative examples of the relevance of food systems analysis for the identification of appropriate and effective programs for reinforcing the resilience, responsiveness and inclusiveness of novel food and nutrition programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: food systems; interdisciplinary research; feedbacks & interlinkages; food policy; 3I Approach food systems; interdisciplinary research; feedbacks & interlinkages; food policy; 3I Approach

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Ruben, R.; Verhagen, J.; Plaisier, C. The Challenge of Food Systems Research: What Difference Does It Make? Sustainability 2019, 11, 171.

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