A system is self-sustaining (or self-sufficient) if it can maintain itself by independent effort. The system self-sustainability is:
- the degree at which the system can sustain itself without external support
- the fraction of time in which the system is self-sustaining
Lets think about a couple things. We do not often see, or experience the processes that produce our food. Whether you are vegetarian, omnivorous, or you manage to live on candy alone, it is all coming from somewhere.
The idea that various components of an economy are labeled “systems” suggest that there is much involved in the end result. That means that there is never just one middleman between you and the farms that produce our food. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of entities putting their hands in the proverbial pie.
example: Farm system → Processing system → Delivery system → Retail system → YOU
This is only a snapshot of what occurs in the food delivery system at large. Each component, from farm to you involves many macro and micro interactions that impact and influence it physically and financially millions of times.
According to Wikipedia’s definition of self-sustaining (or self sufficient), how would you rate yourself and your dependence on all of the systems that play a role in producing the food on your table and in your cupboards?
Lets reverse roles okay?
example: YOU → Backyard system → YOU
Of course, it isn’t just that easy. But for sake of demonstration we see how complicated things become when we subcontract out the provision of our daily sustenance. Interestingly, one of the biggest contributors to the success of both systems is guess who? That’s right, the Honeybee!
This magnificent animal is responsible for pollinating 1 of every 3 bites of food you take on daily basis. That’s an awful lot of bites! Even if you don’t chew 32 times, it was impacted in some way by the Honeybee.
Without the Honeybee, both of these systems fail. Which one of these systems do you believe is threatening the Honeybee?
This post is cross-posted from our beekeeping blog at bees4romulus.blogspot.com