Abstract for: Dynamic thinking about food system vulnerabilities in highly developed countries: Issues and initial analytic structure

This paper presents the first step in applying a system dynamics analysis to the question of food system vulnerability and resilience in developed countries. Existing literature and models about food security largely focus either on effects of climate change on agriculture at a global scale or on specific issues on a regional scale, most often in food insecure countries. While there has been considerable attention in highly developed countries to specific issues such as organic food, agri-business, effects of pesticide and fertilizer runoff, or introduction of genetically modified organisms, it is hard to get a clear picture of the ways in which the food system as a whole is vulnerable and resilient at the national level. Here we syn-thesize literature about food systems and discuss differences in food systems between less developed and highly developed countries. Based on the literature review, we develop a conceptual model. We describe next steps for developing an operational model for raising awareness of vulnerability and re-silience in developed country food systems.