A self-curated anti-rival Food Suffering and Wellbeing Index (FSWI) aims to create a comprehensive comparison on the social and environmental variables that have been positively or negatively impacted in the food supply chain to help consumers make an informed decision. The goal is to provide hyper-transparency of the food production impact.
We consume three meals on average in a day which are constituted by several ingredients. The production of these food items has a lasting impact on factors such as the soil, water, and air and human and animal factors such as their rights, welfare, and even livelihood. However, when making food-related decisions, we are most likely to be alienated from this impact. As consumers, we also don’t believe we can have a positive impact created by our individual consumption habits. This gap creates a great opportunity for services that can pave the path for collective action for positive change.
FSWI gathers several food production impact variables related to social, ecological, health and economic impact. The shortlisted variables include impact on air, water, land, agricultural practices, animal welfare, locality and nutrition. The hypertransparency of the impact and supply chains aims to be supported by blockchain technology. The index uses traffic-light colour coding to indicate the intensity of impact created by the variables. The goal of FSWI is to encourage more sustainable decision making and not induce further climate anxiety.
The unique value of digital assets as compared to tangible assets is that their value rises over time as its usage increases. Since blockchain paves way for recording unalterable data along the food supply chain that is authentic, immutable and transparent; its value expands as it gains further accessibility among consumers and citizens. The foundation of the data on blockchain’s ledger is that it is decentralised. This means that it is not owned by any single party, rather it is democratised between the involved enterprises. This further implies the existence of a flat hierarchy resulting in no friction within the complex ecosystem of the food value chain. All this adds to augmenting accountability and trust towards each other and in favour of the final consumers who can participate as empowered agents of change for collective action concerning the shared goals.
FSWI’s key functionality is that it can be self-curated. The user can choose and filter which suffering and wellbeing variables resonate the most with their motivations while making food choices. The user can authorise the service provider to collect their data on their personal food choices and sustainability concerns driving them. This data is crucial in building feedback loops that empower an individual to influence the food supply chain beyond mere records of monetary transactions. Data from numerous individuals could also be utilised to be reflective of what the community, region and country by large is aspiring for and what gaps need to be fulfilled in order to reach sustainability goals by large. Essentially, FSWI treats its users not as mere consumers but active citizens in making bottom-up change.
By building on distributed ledger technologies and blockchain to achieve hyper-transparency and a means to collectively cultivate the global commons, constructive collective action can replace the twentieth century problem of the tragedy of the commons. The aim is to facilitate individuals’ joint achievement of a 1.5 degree lifestyle plus lifestyle which reflects a collectively sustainable lifestyle congruent with Earth’s environmental limits. Individuals are responsible for virtually tracked aspects of the commons. Operating like carbon credits in artificially maintained CO2 emissions markets, individuals are empowered to cultivate their facet of the commons and to receive credits for responsible decisions. Individuals choose their own concerns, such as water use, carbon dioxide emissions, or packaging waste, and the blockchain powered tokenized avatar functionality enables them to keep track of their impact on the global commons. With their consent, data regarding individuals’ self-developed understanding of the impact of their choices and the values informing their actions are publicly communicated and aggregated to convey overall impact. Whereas sustainable consumption is a self-serving end, this platform provides additional credits which may involve university credit, certificates, and participation in a moderated forum and also concretized events and potentially discounts or subsidies.
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