Concept and Measurement of the Food System Sustainability: A Bibliometric Research


In view of climate change and population growth, making food system sustainable is a global concern. A lot of policies regulate this issue, but recent data show that global (and national) food systems are still far from the sustainability. Improvement of existing policies in the field of food system regulation requires a clear understanding of the food system sustainability concept itself: specification of its traits, attributes, measurement indicators, and goals. These issues are reflected in a lot of research papers, but none of these articles summarise the major trends, content, and features of the food system sustainability concept’s evolution. This study for the first time summarises history and contents of research in the field of concept and measurement of food system sustainability through bibliometric analysis of Scopus indexed papers for 1991-2022. The growth of scientific interest in this area, led by researchers from the USA, Italy, and France, was found to be wave-like with peaks following the global food crises appearance patterns. The results of this study show that modern perception of the concept (since 2018) is complicated and intertwined in the notions of systems and system thinking, sustainability, and life cycle assessment, contrasting to the previous views (1991-2018) focused on food production system and food security. In general, a little attention is given to social and economic aspects of food system sustainability, in contrast to environmental, food, and agri-food issues. The elaboration of one-size-fits-all policy and solutions favouring food systems sustainability is suggested to be unlikely due to the complexity of the concept's perception. Governance of food system sustainability should go in line with concrete institutional, economic, social, and natural environments that need to be comprehensively studied in a future. Studies from developing countries are of special interest in this context

Keywords: sustainable food, concept evolution, assessment, bibliometrix, biblioshiny