When we think of food security, we presume it as being associated with the availability of food and of course our access to it. Typically, food security directly correlates with our daily consumption, our nutrition and our health. Today, we see there are threats to food security such as climate change, overpopulation with income disparity. As of now, we are already experiencing worsening effects of the global climate changes, which includes harsher weather conditions in some regions and extreme drought in others, as a result of this, agricultural crops have suffered at huge costs. Reducing further risks posed by climate change on our food security, is one of the most discussed challenges in recent years. As for climate change adding to the situation it causes uncertainties that make us question what to expect of future weather climates and what they will bring about. For sure, these uncertainties are not short term and will remain for centuries as there is no evidence of us making the required changes to combat climate change.Order now
The influence of climate change on agricultural crops are already evident around the world. Farmers in many areas are currently seeking ways to adapt to the increased weather temperatures, in which others are trying to cope with heavier rainfalls during the monsoons seasons which have led to soil nutrients being washed away in many crops together with rice and maize. With increased flooding can often lead to disruptions in transport of agricultural products from one region to another further impacting our food security as it is not always guaranteed in some cases. As a result, this limits supply and access to food and the costs of these products for consumer have increased significantly due to higher demand with the population explosions.
One of the main regions experiencing extreme increases in temperatures resulting in droughts is one of the main fruits and nut producers in the world, California, but drought has inflicted almost 95% of the region, causing farmers to overcome many obstacles. We know how climate change can increase the temperatures, for instance it can enhance the probabilities of a drought occurring and how severe a drought can be. Seeing as this is already affecting our food security it is something, we are already made aware but more so a challenge to manage.
Again, prices for these products in such high demand has increased drastically, affecting households of low income in many areas access of purchasing any of this produce. Since the population explosion in the 1960’s feeding the growing global population has been of concern. Projections are displaying that droughts are on the verge of worsening as much as 10 to 20%, marginally inflicting further repercussions on food security
The global population has been projected to reach 9.5 billion by the year 2050. Today we produce enough food to feed 10 billion, then why are 1 billion hungry? Over Consumption with easy access to food. We understand that today 30% of food produced ends up going to waste and a further 40% of cereal crops are used as feeding for agricultural animals. In general, world hunger is not caused by a lack of food, but rather by people’s entitlements and irresponsible decisions. Currently there are 1 billion people suffering from hunger or in some case where they are unable to consume the recommended amounts of macronutrients or micronutrients, they are considered malnourished, across the world.
In addition to this, another 1.5 billion suffer detrimental nutrient deprivation. With the access to food almost 2.5 billion people worldwide are overweight or obese as a result of over consumption. Furthermore, this over consumption leads to poor diets which causes explosions in healthcare expenses.
With over population and the growth of widespread diseases effecting our food security such as E. coli, avian, swine flu, salmonella and mad cow disease, this causes health inflicting events resulting in huge damaging costs on farmers and more so on healthcare services. With over population comes big demand posing a threat on food security as resources are continuously being exploited in order to produce for demand due to economic power causing irreversible environmental problems.
The challenges following climate change can often be freshwater depletion or even biodiversity loss having knock on affect to modern food systems and further health problems to be dealt with by healthcare services.
Multinational corporations have started to exploit this population trend with the power of advertising and marketing. In the year 2015 alone, globally, they exceeded 550 billion dollars promoting food which accounted for 25%. Initially, we think it’s the western countries accounting for most of this expenditure, even though the US represents 40%, Japan followed with 15% and the UK with a mere 7%. Obesity is on the rise with food companies taking full advantage increasing their expenditure on global advertising every year; Procter and Gamble costing 10.8 billion dollars, followed by companies such as Coke, Nestle, McDonalds for a combined 9 billion dollars. For every dollar spent by the World Health Organization (W.H.O) food advertising industry spends on average 500 dollars to promote high in sugar products. According to Yale university, children in 2013 aged between 2 and 11 years old, viewed 536 advertisements for sweets and only 32 advertisements for fruit and veg.
What does It mean to be food secure? That every human in the world at all times has the affordable amount to access physical basic food that they need.
What do we need to do, to be food secure? Understand and find a balance between food and security. This is achieved by taking a sustainable development approach and embracing new agricultural technology achieving its maximum output.
What factors influence our security status. There are many factors we must consider that ensure our security status such as availability of food and access to food and utilizing our foods rather than being put to waste. In order to achieve this and limit the factors that are presenting immediate threats to food security we must bring the issues of climate change and overpopulation main focus points on the agenda and rethink our distribution of food and cut out food wastages.