Economic efficiency is a key issue in economic research and for policy design, and certainly for food security challenges. In the food system dynamics the understanding of changes and trends is crucial to improve our capacity to deal with the objectives of sustainable development and quality of life. Food system efficiency evaluation is necessary with regard to production and consumption efficiencies as well as market and governance dilemmas. Regulations and institutional efficiency are crucial aspects that are frequently forgotten, and efforts should be made to improve the capacity to deal with those methodological needs. In many situations, in the real world, data and measurements are difficult or even impossible to get in numeric or quantitative terms. Frequently, a qualitative evaluation is the only way to proceed, but measurements and numeric references are still important, mainly when changes over time are central to the research. The actual paper follows a structural food system model (WFSE – World Food Security Equation) and a general equilibrium approach (ICI model – induced changes and innovation model) to show in a country case study (Cape Verde) the important role of markets and institutions as compared to regulation practices directed to improve economic efficiency subject to demand behavior. Cape Verde is a very challenging country with regard to the food security status (where natural resources are very poor for agricultural production) but with great success in global and macro terms in the last 10 years. The main problems nowadays are clearly at local level. The present research tries to highlight the global achievements and explore local assessment efforts on food consumption conditions. A specific region is studied, in the island of Santo Antão, one of the most important production regions. Three different production systems were compared mainly with regard to their respective influence on consumption habits, incomes and global interaction and behavior. The results show that food consumption at local level is reasonable good in terms of food security, but that food habits have a determining and surprising influence. Solutions for “food security” improvements are complex and very dependent on social systems, somehow in line with the problems in industrialized economies.