American Academy Blog

Food Security, Environmental Justice and Protection

February 19, 2014 at 4:18 pm Comments are off for this post

Food insecurity and hunger have increased considerably world-wide. Women & children, especially in low resource countries, continue to be overrepresented among people lacking access to adequate food to lead  healthy and productive lives (Anderson, 1990; Nord, 2003; USDA, 2013).

Despite efforts directed at reducing food insecurity, progress in mitigating chronic hunger has been thwarted world-wide. The number of hungry people in the world is currently at an historic high. The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates that about 1.02 billion people were chronically hungry and undernourished in 2009 (FAO, 2010). These figures represent 15.5 per cent of the world’s population.

Global food insecurity is linked to a number of factors including environmental justice, poor harvests, and subsequent increases in food price worldwide – especially the rising cost of dairy products and cereals (FAO, 2012). It is also connected to increases in unemployment and the recent economic downturn. Further, evidence suggest that hunger is linked to gender inequality. Indeed, data from the Global Hunger Index (GHI) (2009), suggests that countries reporting severe hunger also had high levels of gender inequality. Given the negative impact of food insecurity and hunger on welfare, the subject deserves attention.