“In purely quantitative terms, there is enough food available to feed the entire global population of 7 billion people.”
- World Food Programme
The above quotation is enough to give anyone pause for thought. If there is enough food in the world for everyone — then why are 925 million people still going hungry?
The answer isn’t a simple one, but striving to build a world where everyone has enough to eat touches on a concept known as “food security.”
Food security is said to exist when people have physical and economic access — at all times — to sufficient safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and preferences for an active, healthy life.
According to the World Health Organization, food security is built on three pillars:
• Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
• Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
• Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.
The reasons for food insecurity are also complex. Some people cite challenges with food production, food distribution and increasing globalization — especially as it impacts those in the developing world.
As North Americans — who typically have more than enough to eat — it’s important to consider how our diets and lifestyle choices are impacting food security in other parts of the world. And that’s where education comes in. Because the more we learn about the issue, the better equipped we are to make compassionate, intelligent choices and changes that can make the world a better place for all its citizens.
Want to learn more? Check out the great classroom activities and resources for teachers on the issue of food and hunger from the World Food Programme.