What is Food Security?
From SDG Academy on 20 August, 2019
This chapter discusses food security and how food security is measured, who is food insecure and where they are located, as well as progress to date on addressing the issues. In 1996, there was a World Food Summit in Rome at FAO where they defined food security, which exists when all people at all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy and active life. There are four pillars of food security: food availability, food access, food utilization, and food stability. Food security is measured by one or two indicators. The FAO definition, also called the undernourishment indicator, tries to capture the four pillars and is collected annually, and was the target of the Millennium Development Goals, and it measures the proportion of the population below the minimum level of dietary energy consumption. The Global Hunger Index is a composite indicator of child mortality, undernourishment, and underweight for children under five. There has been a decline in food insecure people worldwide; there are regional differences in people who are undernourished, and in some places the numbers are actually increasing. Food security is multi-faceted; it requires a functional food system because food has to move through a value chain and food systems are very localized. Food systems re under a lot of pressure, like population growth, urbanization, climate change, natural resource degradation, conflict, social unrest, etc. The food environment is the market in which the consumer has the ability to interact with the food system, which influences the diet, and in turn has societal, environmental, and equity consequences. Drivers influence the food system, including biophysical environmental drivers like climate change, then there are issues of political will, socio-cultural factors, issues of demography, and others.