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The Post-Anthropocene Diet: Navigating Future Diets for Sustainable Food Systems

Rachel Mazac () and Hanna L. Tuomisto ()
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Rachel Mazac: Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Hanna L. Tuomisto: Department of Agricultural Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 6, 1-15

Abstract: This article examines how future diets could reduce the environmental impacts of food systems, and thus, enable movement into the post-Anthropocene. Such non-anthropocentric diets are proposed to address global food systems challenges inherent in the current geological epoch known as the Anthropocene—a period when human activity is the dominant cause of environmental change. Using non-anthropocentric indigenous worldviews and object-oriented ecosophy, the article discusses changes in ontologies around diets to consider choices made in the present for sustainable future food systems. This article conceptually addresses, how can pre-Anthropocene ontologies guide an exit of current approaches to diets? Considering temporality, what post-Anthropocene ontologies are possible in future diets for sustainable food systems? Through the ontological positions defining three distinct temporalities, considerations for guiding future diets in(to) the post-Anthropocene are proposed. Indigenous ontologies are presented as pre-Anthropocene examples that depict humans and non-humans in relational diets. Underlying Anthropocene ontologies define current unsustainable diets. These ontologies are described to present the context for the food systems challenges this article aims to address. A post-Anthropocene illustration then employs object-oriented ecosophy along with indigenous ontologies as theoretical foundations for shifting from the dominant neoliberal paradigm in current ontologies. Ontologically-based dietary guidelines for the post-Anthropocene diet present the ontological turns, consideration of temporality, and outline technological orientations proposed for sustainable future food systems. This is a novel attempt to integrate non-anthropocentric theories to suggest possible futures for human diets in order to exit the Anthropocene epoch. These non-anthropocentric ontologies demonstrate how temporal considerations and relational worldviews can be guidelines for transforming diets to address public health concerns, the environmental crisis, and socioeconomic challenges.

Keywords: sustainable diets; Anthropocene; indigenous ontologies; temporality; sustainable futures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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