Home > Defining Food Security !

Food security issues essentially focus on having reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

The World Food Summit of 1996 defined food security as existing “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. Commonly, the concept of food security is defined as including both physical and economic access to food that meets people’s dietary needs as well as their food preferences. In many countries, health problems related to dietary excess are an ever increasing threat, In fact, malnutrion and foodborne diarrhea are become double burden.

Food security is built on three pillars:

  • Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
  • Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
  • Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.
Food security is a complex sustainable development issue, linked to health through malnutrition, but also to sustainable economic development, environment, and trade. There is a great deal of debate around food security with some arguing that:
  • There is enough food in the world to feed everyone adequately; the problem is distribution.
  • Future food needs can – or cannot – be met by current levels of production.
  • National food security is paramount – or no longer necessary because of global trade.
  • Globalization may – or may not – lead to the persistence of food insecurity and poverty in rural communities.
For the purposes of this blog, the issue of food waste and its environmental impacts are also included in the discussion of food security.