The Wicked Problem of Broken Food System

In: Social Issues

Submitted By pps1121
Words 588
Pages 3
The Wicked Problem of Broken Food System

A broken food system refers to food-related processes or infrastructure for feeding a population that do not work for consumers causing problems in the context of economic, environmental, health, and societal influences (University of Vermont Continuing Education 2012). It can be identified as a wicked problem in that almost one billion people are hungry due to the broken food system although there is enough food produced and that eighty percent of the hungry people are even people engaged in food production such as farmers and fishermen (Tim Norton 2012). This contradictory phenomenon points out that the distribution of food is not working well and presents that broken food system is a wicked problem. The second point is related to disposal of food warning against human beings' lack of respect for nature. Although the broken food system is resulted from many different reasons, the basic reason is in human's anti-environmental activities such as overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, industrial farming to make bio-fuels which results a large amount of CO2 and causes rapid climate change.
According to Rittel who defined the concept of 'wicked problem' in 1973, wicked problems are ambiguous, complex, and subjective and they don't follow traditional method to approach solution as tame problems do (Tom Ritchey 2011). More specifically, wicked problems have various possible approaches rather one right answer (University of Technology Sydney 2012). Broken food system has these features of wicked problems. To analyze characteristics of wicked problems with linking to the two arguments in the first paragraph, the first point, distribution of food, has to do with an idea that wicked problems are about people as 'stakeholders' (Tom Ritchey 2011). As farmers, fishermen and herdsmen are all involved in food production, they...