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Defining Food Security: Importance of Basic Need

By Charles Hopkins Published 12/14/2006 | Security and Safety

If food, clothes and shelter are the basic needs of a human being, then food is the primary among them. Without food your sustenance will be put at stake.

Now food security is a term more related to Economics and Sociology concerned with an ideal situation where the hunger and starvation problem gets completely erased. But in fact complete food security was never attained in the world.

Recent data of world-wide poverty put forward such a figure that it will shake the whole world. More than 850 million people go hungry everyday and their economical condition is extremely miserable. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has stated in its report two years back that around two billion people dont have any type of food security around the world.

How does the United Nations regard this food security through the operating bodies United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)?

The first definition

  • Food security must meet the primary hunger of any human being. But this is just the preliminary step of providing security.
  • The concept of proper nutrition and balanced diet forms the basis of food security. If you are unable to give every individual of a nation nutritious food in sufficient amount as per the diet requirement at a particular age, that nation cannot be regarded to have food security at an optimum level.
  • Now a natural question arises that in any country every individual doesnt suffer from malnutrition then what is the parameter of judging food security?
  • Here you will have to understand the deep link between food security and poverty.
  • Every country has a gap between the rich and the poor. Quite paradoxically this gap exists more dominantly in the developing and underdeveloped nations.
  • The rich dwells in excess while the poor hold a layer of skin on the skeletal figure. This is the naked truth. Therefore such disparity in the distribution of wealth is the biggest challenge in front of a nations economy that leads to food insecurity.

Defining more accurately

The FAO and the USDA have a more specific definition for food security relating it in terms of every household.

         If its a family of four or five members then it is the right of every individual irrespective of sex to have healthy and required diet every time. The daily diet must contain all the essential nutrients and in sufficient amount each individual should have the opportunity to feed on them. The requirement criteria will be divided according to the age-group of the family members in the household.

         Safe conditions of food intake have to be provided apart from being nutritionally rich. That means food security is not just related to fulfillment of food requirement but also takes care of hygiene.

         Finally the food supply and the cultivation have to be adequate without fail. Every individual is enjoying his/her necessity bite but everything is being drawn from emergency stores cannot portray that the economic condition of the nation is secured in terms of food.

         Unfair means of getting food and food related corruptions also violate the dictums of food security.

Well these are the ideal ways of defining food security. As conscious individuals we should not step aside from whatever contribution we can make. Cant we stop wasting food which we frequently do? A revolution doesnt take place in a day. Therefore someday we shall overcome the food crisis in this world and establish food security in its true essence to reach the ideal state. Lets vow on it.