Food Security

Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. – 1996 World Food Summit

When you start looking up the term ‘food security’ online you come across the concept of pillars. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognised three pillars that determine food security: food availability, food access and food use.1 Where as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FOA) includes a fourth pillar: stability.2

  • Food availability: sufficient amount of food available to consume a nutritious diet – quality, domestic or import production, stock levels and net trade.
  • Food access: sufficient resources and access to obtaining appropriate foods for a nutritious diet – income, expenditure, markets and prices.
  • Food use: appropriate use of food through basic nutrition and care in food preparation, clean water and a nutritious diet.
  • Food stability: having access to adequate food at all times whether it be a population, household or individual. Can also refer to the availability and access pillars of food security.

Issues of accessibility, affordability and sustainability are all challenges when considering food security including “… a lack of resources (including financial resources and other resources such as transport); lack of access to nutritious food at affordable prices, lack of access to food due to geographical isolation; and lack of motivation or knowledge about a nutritious diet.”3

From an individual perspective, food security affects physical, mental and social well being. Impacts can be short term (anxiety, hunger and energy levels) or long term like academic ability and health issues such as obesity, malnutrition, diabetes and heart disease.

The more I investigate food security and waste the I more I have become aware that I have been living in my own little bubble. I must admit I don’t read the newspaper or watch the news (or much TV for that matter) so I guess it’s no surprise that I don’t what’s going on around me. And I guess I haven’t really bothered to find out either. For someone who loves food, nature and my way of life I can see how misguided I have been. As part of the “younger” generation I should be more conscious and do my part to help create a more sustainable way of life for future generations to come.

World War I Era Poster, Committee of Public Safety, Department of Food Supply, South Penn Square, Philadelphia, PA

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Sustainability Project Proposal | Short Ramblings

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