Part of an ongoing commitment to wellbeing includes looking outside yourself to understand the systems that create the world we live in. In recent decades, humans have become aware of the damage we are doing to the planet through overconsumption, corporate greed, and a fixation on productivity. Moreover, we are beginning to see the effects of this damage on our own wellbeing—whether that be through more frequent and severe natural disasters, widespread chronic illness, or growing social stratification. Experts across various disciplines are tracking the effects of human activity on the environment, revealing an urgent truth: The systems and norms that have carried us this far no longer serve us, and are in fact threatening our long-term goals of safety and security for the future of our planet.
The relationship between humans and the environment is mediated through many interconnected systems. Perhaps the most important of these is our food system, which drives food consumption as well as a large part of our economy. We had the opportunity to sit down with Priscilla Trinh, a University of Minnesota student at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences, to discuss planetary health from a food-systems perspective.