Although every human on Earth has to eat to survive, the amount of food consumed varies a great deal by region. In this lesson, we will explore the concept of food insecurity and the issues that are causing it.
We will also discuss prevention methods in place to try to combat food insecurity.
Food Security and Insecurity
How many calories do you consume in a given day? To live a healthy and productive life, it is recommended that people consume around 2,200 kilocalories each day. When you look at the human population as a whole, the average person consumes around 3,000 kilocalories per day, and people who live in industrialized countries have been reported to consume even more.Although the average person consumes more than enough calories to remain healthy, and, worldwide, enough food is produced to feed the entire human population, the distribution of food is not even. It is estimated that currently over 850 million people are living on daily diets of much less than the recommended amount.This uneven distribution of food is a major problem for the entire human population because it threatens food security.
Food security is when a person is able to obtain a sufficient amount of healthy food on a day-to-day basis. People who do not consume enough food each day suffer from food insecurity, which is when a person is unable to obtain a sufficient amount of healthy food on a day-to-day basis. As a result of food insecurity, people suffer from chronic hunger and poor nutrition, and are, therefore, less likely to have healthy and productive lives.
Causes of Food Insecurity
Now that we know what food insecurity is, what do you think is the cause behind it? It is widely agreed upon that the main cause of food insecurity is poverty. Poverty makes it very difficult for people to grow their own food and also to buy enough food. Currently, it is estimated that over 1.5 billion people live on less than $1 a day, and are, therefore, unable to buy enough food to keep them healthy. Due to the low-income levels in many areas, it is also not possible for people to grow their own food because they do not have money to invest in agriculture.
The second leading cause of food insecurity is the growth of the human population. The human population has been growing steadily, and the amount of food needed to feed the population has also increased. Overall, the human population is expected to increase by about 2 billion people by 2050, and this will put a serious strain on the availability of food. Although currently enough food is produced to feed every human on Earth, as populations grow, the amount of people suffering from food insecurity will increase.The increase in the human population will be particularly difficult in poor countries where people already struggle to obtain food and will have more trouble as the population increases. Additionally, the growing population can also influence food insecurity by limiting the amount of food available for consumption. As the human population increases, there is a higher demand for alternative fuel sources, such as biofuels.
In recent years, this demand has led to large amounts of corn being used to create biofuels, thus reducing the amount of corn available to feed people.
Combatting Food Insecurity
As population sizes increase and poverty continues, food insecurity remains a large challenge that will need to be handled. There are several efforts in place to combat food insecurity and to achieve a state of global sustainability, which is when the human population as a whole can use the resources on Earth to meet current needs while not compromising the needs of future generations.
One method to try and combat food insecurity is to provide aid and relief to people or countries that are suffering. In the United States, the Food Stamp Program was established to help people with low-income status pay for food. An organization called Feeding America was also developed to help collect and distribute donated food items to people in need.On the global scale, many poor countries have been given incentives by wealthier countries or organizations to increase their own food production. The World Bank provides grants to poor countries to increase their agriculture systems and food supplies. Wealthy countries have also provided aid to poor countries by offering debt relief so that the country can spend money on producing its own food instead of paying back debt.Another method for combatting food insecurity is to use advances in technology to produce more food.
In recent years, food production has increased due to several advances in technology, such as new farm equipment, fertilizers, pesticides and high-volume irrigation systems. New advances in genetics have also made it possible to produce more food by creating varieties of plants that have higher yields. There has also been an increase in the technology and techniques used to farm large amounts of livestock and fish.In addition to providing aid and increasing food production through technology, it has also been suggested that food insecurity could be combated by developing sustainable methods for harvesting or farming both new and underutilized wild species of plants and animals. For example, in the Amazon rainforest, the Babassu palm grows wild, and this plant can produce more vegetable oil than any other plant on Earth.In addition, the serendipity berry of tropical Africa can make a sweetener over 3,000 times sweeter than regular sugar.
If these two plants were to be sustainably harvested or farmed, it would be possible to produce large quantities of vegetable oil and sugar with less effort. These products could be produced at a cheaper rate and sold to people in need at lower prices.
Now, let’s review food insecurity, its causes and the prevention efforts that are in place to combat it. People require a certain amount of food each day to live healthy and productive lives, and although there is enough food being produced on Earth to feed every human, there are still many people who do not have enough to eat. Food insecurity is the term used to describe the situation where a person is unable to obtain a sufficient amount of healthy food on a day-to-day basis.
Food insecurity is caused by two large global problems: poverty and growth in the human population. People in poor countries are not able to afford to grow or buy enough food to remain healthy, and as the human population increases, more pressure will be placed on the available food sources.Due to the severity of the food insecurity problem, there have been many prevention efforts on the local and global scale. Globally, wealthy countries have provided aid to poor countries through debt relief and grant programs. In addition to aid, advances in technology have also been used to increase food production in agriculture and livestock production.
Although there are many efforts in place to prevent food insecurity, the food shortage crisis has the potential to become an even larger problem as the human population grows and the planet changes. This problem truly is a global issue, and it is important to bring awareness to everyone and get more countries involved in relief efforts in order to stop world hunger and bring food security to all people on Earth.
After this lesson, you’ll be able to:
- Define food insecurity and describe why it’s a global problem
- Explain the causes of food insecurity
- Summarize the efforts to prevent food insecurity
- Identify organizations that work to combat food insecurity