Closed-loop is a way of describing a system as being circular instead of linear. In food, the common way most of us get our food in in the linear system of a producer (the farmer), the preparer (a restaurant or supermarket), and then the consumer - that's you, the eater's!
The idea is that closed-loop systems are stronger and more resilient than linear systems because all resources are finite - including food and all of the components necessary to grow it. If we utilise the resources we already have better to form closed-loop systems, we will reduce waste and we can feed more people for longer without causing the increasing damage to the planet that linear systems (that require constant new resource input to function) do.
Closed-loop is based on living within our means, utilising our resources more efficiently and is something that we believe will benefit not only the planet, but can also improve our individual and local community health as well.
The 2BHealthy project is focusing on using familiar ingredients specific to the UK that we rely heavily on linear systems to continue. Beans are a nutritious food that can offer much needed soil-health benefits and are widely considered a food staple across the world.
Here in the UK, many take for granted the energy and resources required to ship in all of our beans so this project was developed to help close on of the gaps in our own food-system. By using evidence-based research and sustainable development we are able to breed our very own beans that grow right here in our soils, helping to move the producers closer to the consumers.
But it doesn't stop at simply breeding new crops! This project aims to think beyond the science and involve the community and social elements that make food part of our culture. By helping to inspire home-cooking that involves healthy, delicious ingredients we are hoping to bridge even more gaps and bring the preparers closer to the consumers, helping people to value their local food systems and improve their diets in cheap and community driven ways.
We encourage forward-thinking ideas for building this more resilient food-system together and that starts with talking about where we are now and asking questions about the future:
• If it's not homegrown, then is it a luxury?
• At what scale and complexity do we lose resilience in our food system?
• Where are closed-loops already working to provide healthy food supply?
• What gaps can be bridged for closed-loops in our food system?