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What Is Food Security?

Food security is when there is no threat of having no food.
Crop destruction threatens food security.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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Access to food is generally regarded as a fundamental right. Allowing people to starve is usually viewed as inhumane and unjust. Food security refers to a situation where there is no threat of people lacking food. Factors that threaten food security include poverty, war, and crop destruction.

Many people believe poverty is the primary concern regarding food security. This is far from true. A lack of sufficient financial resources is only one reason food insecurity arises. There are many other circumstances that can result in food insecurity.

In order for there to be food security, there needs to be sufficient quantities of food. Even if everyone has money, problems will result if there is not enough food for them to purchase. The supply of food can be affected by any number of things. These include transportation problems, crop destruction, and contamination.

Crop destruction threatens security. Such instances can occur due to drought or infestation. This type of insecurity also arises when land or waters that people rely on for food become polluted. The same is true when people are made to risk consuming foods that may not be safe. Foods that are or may be contaminated are not seen as secure options.

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There are many examples when food security has been threatened by weather conditions or natural disasters. This can happen when people become isolated in areas where it is difficult or impossible to transport food. This situation also tends to arise in war zones. Sometimes it is an unintended consequence. In some instances, however, food supplies to certain people are intentionally made difficult or cut off.

Food security also takes into consideration nutritional value. That there is material available for people to eat does not avert a crisis. The food needs to cover the nutritional needs that humans have. Some diseases, such as pellagra, are related to instances where people are subjected to inadequate nutrition.

The food that people have access to must be acceptable to them. For example, if Muslims are only allowed access to pork products, a situation of insecurity arises. Many will starve since their religious beliefs prohibit the consumption of pork products.

There are several measures that exist to ensure food security. In many nations, there are social programs that allow the poor, sick, and elderly to receive food at subsidized rates or free of charge. This may be done by providing funds, vouchers, or special access locations. There are also many programs that aim to provide food to people in nations that cannot or are not doing so on their own.

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meandcoffee
Post 2

Global food security is always being threatened. The population keeps growing, and all the natural disasters mean less food is grown to keep up with the growth.

I really do not see how we will ever escape the fact that our food supply keeps being threatened. There are just too many odds to overcome, including mother nature. Maybe I am being pessimistic, but this is just how I see things in today's world.

pinkandred
Post 1

During times of flooding, I wonder how much food security is threatened?

If farmland is flooded during planting season, a crop does not get put in. If this happens to whole communities of farmers, community food security would be threatened (farmer's markets). Then if most of their crop was going to be sold to be distributed, it would affect even more people. I just wonder how bad such a scenario would be.

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