Foreword -- Introduction.-PART I Social Metabolism and Local Food Systems: Key Concepts -- Chapter 1.1 In Search of Local Sustainable Agro-food Systems -- Chapter 1.2 Towards an Energy–Landscape Integrated Analysis (ELIA) in agroecosystems -- Chapter 1.3 Integrating indicators of energy efficiency, power and social metabolism for sustainability assessment of farming and food systems -- PART II Social Metabolism and Local Food Systems: Case studies beyond North and South -- Chapter 2.1 Sustainability challenges of pre-industrial food systems: Insights from Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research in Austria -- Chapter 2.2 From vineyards to feedlots: Socio-metabolic transition of the Vallés County (1860-1950-1999) -- Chapter 2.3 Learnings from an Austrian rural case to foster leapfrogging unsustainable practices in industrializing countries -- Chapter 2.4 Leapfrogging conventional development? Innovations to overcome sustainability constraints in a small-farmer village, Cambodia -- Chapter 2.5 Social and financial metabolism of a small-scale organic farm: looking for sustainability at local level -- Chapter 2.6 Towards more sustainable diets? A socioecological reading of food consumption patterns on a Greek island -- Chapter 2.7 Local and Global food supply chains. Is their comparison meaningful? Lessons learned from an organic tomato case study -- Chapter 2.8 Closing nutrient cycles in the city of Madrid: intersection of grey and green infrastructure systems -- Conclusions: What pathways exist for sustainable agro-food systems?
This book delves into diverse local food systems and critically assesses their ecological and societal benefits and trade-offs, their limits and opportunities for improving sustainability of food production, and framework conditions which either hinder or promote their development. More and more people with gradually meat heavier diets will demand growth in food production, whilst our increasingly industrialized and globalized agri-food system has already caused serious sustainability problems in the past. This calls for a change in the way we produce, distribute and consume food. A re-emerging debate on food security and food sovereignty seems to support this quest. But what are the promising alternatives to mainstream developments? Such a discussion regarding sustainability of local food systems requires a sound systemic understanding and thus invites a socio-metabolic reading of local cases by analyzing the nexus between material and energy flows as well as land and time use. This approach is needed to complement the so far mostly qualitatively-based local food studies. Applying socio-metabolic approaches to local food systems fosters a better understanding of promises and pitfalls for sustainable pathways in the future..