Nutrition and Food Security
What is Food Security?
The concept of food security emerged in 1996, when the World Food Summit coined this term and described it to be “when all people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life”. To be precise, the concept of food security takes into account both sides of access to food, economic and physical access, whereby people are able to meet their dietary needs along with keeping themselves aligned with the food preferences they choose for themselves.
Malnutrition caused due to an inadequacy of food, in terms of physical and economic access to healthy food that is, has become a prevailing issue worldwide. Malnutrition and food borne diseases have become highly common these days, imposing a threat to human life. Food security and nutrition go hand in hand, as the more the food insecurity the higher the opening to malnutrition, and the higher the food security the more is the accessibility to nutrition and nutritional diets.
Food security is primarily based on a food system that poses to be healthy and sustainable. It can be divided into three subsets: Environmental Health, Economic Vitality, and Human Health and Social Equity.
Food Security and Food Systems
Food security is based on a food system that takes into account three very important factors. These factors are described to be the following:
Environmental health is that part of food security concerning the food systems that ensures the environment is dealt as sacred in the procurement and production of food, with no harm levied upon the lands, the water or the air in the present or for the future generations to see.
Economic validity deals with the rights of those who are producing our food directly. It ensures that these individuals, the farmers primarily, are earning wages sufficient enough to at least support their livelihood in a fulfilling manner.
Human Health and Social Equity
This part of the food system to food security chain deals with accessibility and availability of the food in production. It ensures that healthy and nutritious food I made available throughout to the community both physically and economically, in an easy to acquire and a dignified fashion.
The Principles of Food Security
The concept of food security is built on three underlying principles, supporting the foundations of its very existence. These three principles include the following:
The concept of food security states that there should be a consistent availability of food in sufficient quantities at all times.
The second principle supporting the basis of food security assumes for there to be a possible clear cut physically and economically supported access to a nutritious diet.
The third and last principle of food security is based on the food and nutrition related awareness, whereby individuals have the basic knowledge of nutrition, diet and care, coupled with a sufficient water supply and proper sanitation.
Food Security Issues
Food security is not only a health based issue. It is multi-faceted, dealing with health that is directly linked to malnutrition, environment, sustainable economic development and even trade. There are several issues with the persistence of food security based on these facets. It is believed that the world bears a sufficient amount of feed its entire population, but our distribution networks are not efficient enough to ensure it.
Furthermore, there is a lot of uncertainty over reasoning such as whether current levels of food production are sufficient to provide for future needs, or whether the concept of national food security stands legitimized anymore or not with the emergence of global trade, or whether globalization has the potential or not of prompting poverty and food insecurity in the rural parts of the world? The fact that there is prevailing concern over whether the food is distributed evenly throughout the counterparts of the world, and if adequate nutrition is being consumed by every household shows how food security is a concept that is directly linked to health and has an everlasting bearing on it.