A fundamental hurdle to solving our current environmental problems is their complexity. Nowhere is this more clearly exemplified than in our food system. Agriculture is the primary source of nonpoint source water pollution, a leading contributor to greenhouse gases, and an enormous consumer of natural resources. Our current agriculture and food system likewise contributes to the public health problem of food insecurity. Solving our seemingly intractable environmental issues requires a systems approach, which works by addressing the component causes of social problems and the linkages between them. Although systems solutions are more challenging to execute, they are more durable because they address the root causes of harms.
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