What is food insecurity?
Food insecurity occurs when one is in a state where they do not have access to a consistent stream of food. Food insecurity also addresses the quality of food as well, in terms of how nutritious and beneficial it is. Globally, there are more than 800 million people that do not have access to an adequate amount of food.
There has been more and more research conducted over the past decade about food insecurity. It is not just based on socioeconomic levels, it can involve a whole host of other challenges. These challenges may include a lack of funds for housing, health problems, high costs for medical needs, and insufficient wages. These issues need to be identified and changed at a systematic level in order for changes to be seen, especially globally.
Levels of food insecurity
Like most things, food security is not completely black or white. There are different levels that exist on a spectrum. Listed below are the four different levels.
High Food Security
The household does not have any worries regarding food security.
Marginal Food Security
There are very few times when the household has accessing food.
Low Food Security
People in the house have to reduce the amount of food they receive, and the quality of food they receive.
Very Low Food Security
There may be times during the year, that eating patterns of family members within the household may have little to no food.
Food insecurity vs. hunger
Many people may confuse the ideas of food insecurity and hunger. Food insecurity is in reference to an inadequate amount of financial resources for food for families. Hunger is the visceral discomfort that is caused by not having enough food.
How does food insecurity look around the world?
Contrary to popular belief, food insecurity does not just affect third world countries. Everyone can be affected, but there are certain groups that may be hit harder. Some of these groups include, but are not limited to, children, seniors, people in rural communities, and people in urban communities.
Surveys and other tests have been created to get an idea of food insecurity throughout the world. Participants are asked a series of questions and then the data is put together to make evaluations. After conducting extensive research over the past few years, researchers found that poverty is the biggest factor in food insecurity.
Possible solutions to food insecurity
Although food insecurity is still a major challenge, most countries have been able to see a steady decline in the number of households that have it. In order to be effective with any change towards it, researchers must really understand the causes of it, and who it affects.
Some effective changes could be using fertilizer more effectively and improving water systems around the world. This would aid in the growth and production of local crops. We should all work together to lower food waste on a daily basis. If food waste was reduced India, China, and the United States, then we could feed over 413 billion people a year.